OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to collect patients' and healthcare professionals' opinions about lower limb orthoses (LL-orthoses): 1) the positive and negative aspects; 2) the differences in wearing them according to location; and 3) their recommendations for future modifications.
METHODS: Four focus group discussions were performed, with in total twenty patients with MS with a prescribed LL-orthosis and seven healthcare professionals. Audiotaped discussions were transcribed and qualitatively processed (NVivo11).
RESULTS: Healthcare professionals and patients state that a LL-orthosis improves gait and reduces the risk of falling. Some negative aspects were indicated like stigmatization, difficulties to put on and off the LL-orthosis and the aesthetic aspects. Several patients mentioned that they did not get enough or no correct information about the adaptability and use of the orthoses. Opinions regarding differences in wearing according to location (e.g. in and outside the rehabilitation center) were diverse. Recommendations for future changes were e.g. more refined and firmer orthoses.
CONCLUSIONS: The opinions collected are interesting for taking into account in the process of construction and delivering of LL-orthoses. Future research should focus on the opinions concerning different types of LL-orthosis in relation with the severity of the limitations of the patients.
- ankle foot orthoses
- Multiple sclerosis