Volume 51 Number 9, 2014
Pages 1353 — 1364
Abstract — For people with lower-limb loss, impaired balance is common and limits prosthetic function within the community. This cross-sectional study (1) analyzed relationships among prosthetic use for mobility, balance ability and confidence, and amputation-related variables and (2) determined multivariate models to identify level of prosthetic use. Subjects included 46 community-dwelling adults (mean age 56.2 yr) with limb loss (91.3% unilateral) of varied levels (52.2% transtibial) and etiologies (69.6% vascular). A three-variable linear regression model including balance ability, balance confidence, and years since amputation explained 63.7% of variance in the Houghton scale of prosthetic use score. A logistic regression model including the 14-task Berg Balance Scale, balance confidence, years since amputation, age, and number of comorbidities correctly differentiated between people who had reached a satisfactory level of prosthetic use or not 89.1% of the time. The first three variables demonstrated moderate accuracy with positive likelihood ratios from 2.34 to 4.35. The regression model was further reduced to correctly classify 87.0% of cases with three balance ability tasks (retrieving objects from floor, turning to look behind, and placing alternate foot on stool), balance confidence, and numbers of comorbidities. Logistic models that include balance ability, balance confidence, and numbers of comorbidities can identify level of prosthetic use in people with lower-limb loss. Increased balance confidence and ability when retrieving objects from floor, turning to look behind, and placing alternate foot on stool were most indicative of successful prosthetic use for mobility.
Key words: accidental falls, amputation, balance measurement, gait, injuries, locomotion, lower limb, physical activity, prosthesis, rehabilitation.
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