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Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
Page 244


Technology Assessment of Major Limb Prosthetics

Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), offers an opportunity for VA investigators to compete for research funding for studies focusing on technology assessment of major limb prosthetics.

Major limb loss is a devastating condition afflicting a growing number of military personnel serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The urgency to address the needs of amputees cannot be overstated. Proper prescriptions, rehabilitation, and functioning are vital to the successful use of prosthetics by amputees. The need for comprehensive objective information about the quality and functional reliability of prostheses is paramount.

RR&D will accept research proposals that focus on technological assessment of major limb prostheses to provide an objective assessment of prosthetic durability, stability, cost-effectiveness, long-term use, and a compendium of other important factors relevant to clinical efficacy for veteran amputees.

Investigators such as certified prosthetists, biomedical engineers, physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical and occupational therapists who challenge existing paradigms and incorporate objective assessments of prostheses quality and functional reliability are necessary to achieve clinical efficacy. It is expected that investigators incorporate multisite interdisciplinary approaches that improve upon prosthetic design and result in devices with higher performance and longer life. Development of guidelines for prosthetics use to ensure that the prescription grading system will be of value in the clinical decision-making process is also desirable. Research should be designed to establish evidence-based practices for the reliable use and limits of prostheses and to develop or establish research methodologies, which may be reproduced for further evaluation activities in this area. Investigations that combine bioengineering and clinical assessments will receive high priority.

Proposals are due June 1, 2004, and will be reviewed June 15, 1004. The principal investigator and coprincipal investigators (Co-PIs) must have doctoral and/or medical doctoral degrees and at least a five-eighths VA appointment.

For more information, contact Denise Burton, PhD, at 202-254-0268 or denise.burton@hq.med.va.gov. Letter of intent (LOI) instructions, proposal development, and submission guidelines are available on-line at www.vard.org, "Guidelines for Researchers and Opportunities for Funding."

Denise Burton, PhD
Portfolio Manager, Chronic Medical Diseases
Rehabilitation Research and Development Service 122P
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave, Washington, DC 20420

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