West Park research featured at OAAC conference

Clara Phillips won second place for her poster presentation on a study she co-authored

Clara Phillips stands beside a poster she made

Every year, the Ontario Association for Amputee Care (OAAC) holds a conference to bring together innovative healthcare professionals across the province for the purpose of advancing the care of people who have extremity amputations.

“It’s a very fitting conference for West Park because we have so many different perspectives on amputee care, from physiotherapists and OTs, to inpatient and outpatient care,” says Clara Phillips, Biomedical Technologist.

West Park was well represented at the virtual conference on April 29, with two abstracts being selected for oral presentations as well as two poster presentations. Of the poster presentations three winners are selected, and Phillips’ presentation won 2nd place for her poster on a study she co-authored on patient perceptions of 3D scanning/printing of prosthetic sockets.

“I was surprised and excited, I think we did a good job. There were just so many cool presentations out there so it was a pleasant surprise that we got it.”

The study that Phillips coauthored, along with Lee Verweel, Lynn Li, Marian Miguel, Dr. Marina B. Wasilewski, and Dr. Crystal MacKay, involved interviewing nine patients who had gone through their pilot project with 3D printed sockets in order to get their perspectives on 3D scanning and obtaining a 3D printed socket. The objective was to identify any potential barriers or concerns for adoption of 3D printing and use that knowledge to inform communications and education strategies, or direct future research, to address those patient concerns.

“A lot of the results that we got were fairly expected, but one thing that was very clear from the results, and was nice to see, was that basically every patient talked about the fact that digital technology is very cool and innovative, but if it doesn’t produce a socket that fits as well as a conventionally made socket, then they would prefer to use the more traditional method,” Phillips says.

The second poster presentation West Park submitted, led by two occupational therapy students, involved interviewing healthcare providers on their perspectives of 3D printing for lower-limb sockets.

West Park has a history of being highly involved in the OAAC conference, and in addition to the two poster presentations, Dr. MacKay gave an oral presentation on a study she co-authored, along with Sander L Hitzig, Amanda Mayo, Dr. Michael Devlin, Dr. Steven Dilkas, and Leanna Lee, called “Physical activity to me is just walking”: A Qualitative Study of Individuals’ Perceptions of Physical Activity following Amputation.

The second oral presentation, led by Teah Domazet, was presented on behalf of an MScPT student research group that was supervised at West Park. Transitions in Care for Persons with Limb Loss: A Qualitative Study of Health Care Provider Perspectives was co-authored by Micah Witt, Teah Domazet, Alexandra Dong, Carly Handler, Katrina Nella, Janet Campbell, Steven Dilkas, Sara Guilcher, and Crystal MacKay.