Participatory Design of Paediatric Upper Limb Prostheses: qualitative methods and prototyping

Tara Sims, Andy Cranny, Cheryl Metcalf, Paul Chappell, Maggie Donovan-Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The study aims to develop an understanding of the views of children and adolescents, parents and professionals on upper limb prosthetic devices in order to develop and improve device design. Previous research has found that children are dissatisfied with prostheses but has relied heavily on parent proxy reports and quantitative measures (such as questionnaires) to explore their views. Methods: 34 Participants (eight children aged 8-15 with upper limb difference, nine parents, eight prosthetists and nine occupational therapists) contributed to the development of new devices through the BRIDGE methodology of participatory design, using focus groups and interviews. Results: The study identified areas for improving prostheses from the perspective of children and adolescents, developed prototypes based on these and gained feedback on the prototypes from the children and other stakeholders (parents and professionals) of paediatric upper limb prostheses. Future device development needs to focus on ease of use, versatility, appearance and safety. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that children and adolescents can and should be involved as equal partners in the development of daily living equipment and that rapid prototyping (3D printing or additive manufacturing), used within a participatory design framework, can be a useful tool for facilitating this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017

Bibliographical note

This article has been published in a revised form in International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © 2017 Cambridge University Press 2017


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