Lower limb amputation (LLA) is a life-altering event that 7,300 Canadians undergo each year. Patients may experience a lack of confidence, fear of falling, depression and pain, impacting daily tasks and social engagement. To address the challenging nature of LLA, patients need to go through extensive rehabilitation programs. A proper approach is required to address physical and physiological barriers post LLA to maximize a person’s autonomy and quality of life.
LLA also contributes to a significant burden on the healthcare system. While evidence shows that inpatient rehab is superior to outpatient. In Canada, there is a current trend of outpatient rehabilitation programs due to the high cost of inpatient programs. In order to best deal with the challenges of a limited healthcare budget, rapid movement to outpatient services, and the COVID-19 pandemic, effective self-management programs can help patients monitor their conditions and improve their quality of life.
Online mobile technologies such as tablets can be used to deliver self-management programs. Through this delivery method, rehabilitation after discharge can be provided efficiently, at a low-cost and will be accessible to people in both urban and rural areas. Self-Management for Amputee Rehabilitation using Technology (SMART) is an online educational and training platform for individuals with LLA, designed and developed to address these needs.
SMART utilizes peer support and focuses on LLA education and prosthetic limb management. It will be evaluated in men and women with LLA aged 50 years and over, admitted to prosthetic rehabilitation throughout BC and ON with the aim of improving LLA outcomes. This study will help provide information of the effects of SMART, and information on the implementation of SMART in BC and ON. On a larger scale, as eHealth is relatively new, this study will provide valuable information on this method of delivery, which can be implemented to other clinical areas.