Mental Health & Mindfulness: Addressing the Need within O&P

Mental health is a priority, especially after amputation.

We all focus on the terminal device, ADLs, outcomes, the list goes on. But what about mental health support post amputation?
What about clinician burnout or the need to improve the experience of your patients within your clinic?

Solutions exist, let's talk about them!
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The Facts

More than 30% of amputees are affected by depression(1), about 5x the national average, which often alternates with anxiety. Anxiety may be the fate of the limb that will be removed, as well as about the prospect of phantom limb pain.(2)

Thankfully, the importance of mental health and wellness is a topic that has been growing in popularity. Burnout, depression, and stress around juggling work and life became a hot button topic for everyone. It’s been highlighted through revamped workplace wellness programs, touted by organizations large and small, and those suffering from mental health issues are feeling more comfortable sharing their experiences.

With all of this forward momentum, what was most eye opening was learning that the vast majority (74%) of amputees surveyed in The Liner Wand recent survey(3) felt that the O&P industry could be doing more to support their emotional health.

While organizations such as the Amputee Coalition and Limbs 4 Life have some resources, WebMD simply encourages you to reach out to a mental health professional.

While these are steps in the right direction, not enough open dialogue is taking place within the community.

Although meditation isn’t for everyone, it’s another practical approach to aiding an individual in their time of need, especially during the initial stages post amputation, which can be the most stressful. Relaxation, breathing, and mindfulness exercises are beneficial when experiencing increased stress, but if stress begins to disrupt one’s life, it is important to seek support from a qualified professional.

Where FocusCalm differs from meditation apps is their headband gives visual feedback to the user to help them better understand if they are focused and calm or have an active brain, at that time.

Their studies show that using FocusCalm a few minutes a day for 3 weeks can improve a user’s sense of mental well-being by up to 21% and result in a 13% reduction in anxiety.(4) Over time, users are able to better self-regulate and shift from reacting and instead respond in a calm manner.

Imagine what this could do for your clients and how it could improve the offering within your clinic, or the experience one has in your waiting room.

Use the code LINERWAND10 to get 10% off your order!

References


1. Ghous M. Depression:prevalence among Amputees. Professional Medical Journal, 2015; 22(2): 263-266
2. Bhuvaneswar CG, Epstein LA, Stern TA. Reactions to Amputation: Recognition and Treatment. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2007; 9(4): 303–308.
3. https://thelinerwand.com/2022-amputee-community-survey-results/
4. https://focuscalm.com/pages/focuscalm-science

How This Applies to Upper Limb...


A May, 2022 O&P Almanac article, based on research done at the Providence VA Medical Center and Brown University, states that,

"A substantial proportion of persons with upper-limb amputation experience clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety, and/or long-term post-traumatic psychological distress after amputation...Levels of depression and anxiety have been reported to be greater, and psychosocial adjustment poorer, in persons with upper-limb amputation as compared to those with lower-limb amputation."

Proving that there is a tremendous need for more resources for the limb loss community.

Learn More About The Liner Wand

The Liner Wand Amputee Community survey is the largest of its kind in the O&P industry.

The survey was designed by The Liner Wand team in consultation with numerous O&P clinicians, prominent amputees, and amputee support groups and has already gone a long way in helping industry insiders gain a better understanding of the key challenges and needs of the community.

The survey was completed by 657 respondents, between December 1, 2021, and March 1, 2022.

The Liner Wand

The Liner Wands' clear cut objective in the beginning of its journey was to provide great hygiene to those in need, but over the past 2 years, it has shaped and shifted into more than that.

The Liner Wand is now considered a hub for all things Amputee by creating a diverse and well rounded online presence and safe community with the help of PTs, OTs, Amputees, and Abled Bodies. The various ideas, suggestions, critical feedback is sculpting the community everyday.

"We know hygiene is important, but we learned along the way that having a space for those who have experienced amputation was the real factor missing in the limb loss community. We promote healthy living, clean hygiene, and real conversations." - Elizabeth Stone, Co- Founder/CEO at The Liner Wand

FocusCalm is a sister company of BrainRobotics and has developed a wearable device that measures stress in real-time and provides mental wellness training to help improve focus and sense of calm.

This connection allows BrainRobotics to help an upper limb user in a well rounded manner, all the way from their mental health to offering an accessible and affordable myoelectric prosthetic hand.

Prosthetists know that their clients may struggle with mental wellness which could lead to: 

  1. A decrease in prosthesis usage
  2. Less adherence/attendance for visits
  3. A clear detriment to their lives
  4. Clients want their prosthetists to do more for them and are looking for clinicians that can support them in all aspects of their care

BrainRobotics & FocusCalm can help you check all the boxes.