Development and Acceptability Testing of Decision Trees for Self-Management of Prosthetic Socket Fit in Adults with Lower Limb Amputation.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Purpose: The most common complaint lower limb prosthesis users report is inadequacy of a proper socket fit. Adjustments to the residual limb-socket interface can be made by the prosthesis user without consultation of a clinician in many scenarios through skilled self-management. Decision trees guide prosthesis wearers through the self-management process, empowering them to rectify fit issues, or referring them to a clinician when necessary. This study examines the development and acceptability testing of patient-centered decision trees for lower limb prosthesis users.

Methods: Decision trees underwent a four-stage process: literature review and expert consultation, designing, two-rounds of expert panel review and revisions, and

Results: Fifteen lower limb prosthesis users (average age 61 years) reviewed the decision trees and completed an acceptability questionnaire. Participants reported agreement of 80% or above in five of the eight questions related to acceptability of the decision trees. Disagreement was related to the level of experience of the respondent.

Conclusions: Decision trees were found to be easy to use, illustrate correct solutions to common issues, and have terminology consistent with that of a new prosthesis user. Some users with greater than 1.5 years of experience would not use the decision trees based on their own self-management skills. Implications forCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation Discomfort of the residual limb-prosthetic socket interface is the most common reason for clinician visits. Prosthesis users can use decision trees to guide them through the process of obtaining a proper socket fit independently. Newer users may benefit from using the decision trees more than experienced users.


PMID: 28637137