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J Rehabil Med. 2014 May;46(5):438-46. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1780.

Mobility and satisfaction with lower-limb prostheses and orthoses among users in Sierra Leone: a cross-sectional study.

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Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University and Swedish Institute for Disability Research, PO Box 1026, SE-551 11, Jönköping, Sweden. E-mail:



To investigate patients' mobility and satisfaction with their lower-limb prosthetic or orthotic device and related service delivery in Sierra Leone; to compare groups of patients regarding type and level of assistive device, gender, area of residence, income; and to identify factors associated with satisfaction with the assistive device and service.


A total of 139 patients answered questionnaires, including the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology questionnaire (QUEST 2.0).


Eighty-six percent of assistive devices were in use, but half needed repair. Thirty-three percent of patients reported pain when using their assistive device. Patients had difficulties or could not walk at all on: uneven ground (65%); hills (75%); and stairs (66%). Patients were quite satisfied with their assistive device and the service (mean 3.7 out of 5 in QUEST), but reported 886 problems. Approximately half of the patients could not access services. In relation to mobility and service delivery, women, orthotic patients and patients using above-knee assistive devices had the poorest results. The general condition of the assistive device and patients' ability to walk on uneven ground were associated with satisfaction with the assistive devices and service.


Patients reported high levels of mobility while using their device although they experienced pain and difficulties walking on challenging surfaces. Limitations in the effectiveness of assistive devices and limited access to follow-up services and repairs were issues desired to be addressed.

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