Just in Time for the AOPA 2014 National Assembly: A Session Sneak Peek

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The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) 2014 National Assembly will be held September 4-7, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This issue of EDGE Direct presents highlights of some of the sessions that will be presented there.

Factor Analysis of Upper Extremity Prosthetic Patient Acceptance

Gerald Stark, MSEM, CPO/L, FAAOP

The current definition of acceptance versus rejection in the upper-limb prosthetic population has not been clearly established. This uncertainty necessitates the creation of a way for practitioners to attempt to understand whether or not a patient will accommodate a prosthesis into his or her life. This talk will cover the results of Stark's survey of upper-limb prosthetic practitioners regarding factors that contribute to the rejection of upper-limb prostheses. Using this data, he created a Bayesian forecasting model to estimate the acceptance of a new prosthesis. Four major factors that affected the rejection rate were the user's amputation level, expectations regarding relative functionality, comfort tolerance, and support system.

Leadership Skills and Behavior Related to Tasks and Relationships within O&P

Gerald Stark, MSEM, CPO/L, FAAOP

The O&P professionals involved in a patient's care plan may have strong skills in different areas. It can be difficult to navigate the priorities of others given their skill sets and personalities. Stark's study investigated how three different leadership skill groups viewed tasks and relationships. Questionnaire sets were derived from validated measures for leadership traits, including the Leadership Skills Inventory (LSI); Leadership Style Questionnaire based on Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ); Least Preferred Coworker (LPC); and Authentic Leadership Questionnaire. The three groups were technical skills, human skills, and conceptual skills. All three groups rated relationships to have the highest value. Regardless of one's inclination toward an area of the field or particular skillset, it appears that O&P professionals in value relationships greatly.

Generational Factors in Residency Education: Understanding Millennials

John T. Brinkmann, MA, CPO/L, FAAOP; Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP; Robert Huddler, PT, DPT, BOCP; Nina Bondre, BS

The volume of literature that has been written regarding the Millennial Generation presents vastly different viewpoints on this population. As the O&P profession changes, it is crucial to understand how to work with, integrate, and motivate this generation of practitioners. This series of talks will focus on helping practitioners recruit, train, and retain employees from the Millennial Generation.

Robinson will discuss the evolution of O&P residency education. The current status of National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) accredited residency standards will be reviewed, followed by a summary of the current challenges facing residents and supervisors. Huddler will share strategies for building and maintaining relationships between members of different generations. Workforce readiness, qualifications, and perceived flaws of the Millennial Generation will be covered as well.

Brinkmann will focus on how to train and educate members of the Millennial Generation. Generational stereotypes and strategies for connecting with millennials regarding technology, critical thinking, and feedback will be explained. Bondre will provide the millennial's perspective on these issues, in particular regarding stereotypes and how this generation has evolved. She will then talk about ways for intergenerational team building to occur, as well as address concerns employers may have regarding millennials' contributions in the workplace.

The Impact of Current Research and Outcomes on the Future of Amputee Care and Your Practice

Robert Gailey, PhD, PT, and Ignacio Gaunaurd, PhD, MSPT

Clinicians must remain informed of rapid changes occurring in surgery, prosthetics, and rehabilitation in order to provide the best care for clients. Prosthetists and physical therapists alike must implement outcome measures in accordance with the congressional mandate for comparative effective research. This presentation will cover the use of outcome measures as well as prosthetic and rehabilitative interventions that will impact the current and future care of people with limb loss. Allied healthcare providers will learn how to prepare their clinical practices to accommodate these current and upcoming changes. At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to use evidence to describe the advantages and disadvantages of select prosthetic technologies, differentiate between select outcome measures and their appropriate clinical applications, appropriately document the functional ability of clients and demonstrate clinical change, and identify strategies to partner with allied healthcare providers to demonstrate to payers the value of prosthetic rehabilitation interventions.

Challenges Flowing from a Successful Scoliosis Orthosis Trial

Lori Dolan, PhD; Don Shurr, PT, CPO; Leigh Davis, MSPO, CPO; James Wynne, CPO, FAAOP; Christopher Robinson, CPO/L, MBA, MS, ATC, FAAOP

The Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (BrAIST) study, published in 2013, demonstrated that bracing is effective in decreasing the progression of high-risk curves to the surgical threshold for patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Greater benefits were observed in the subjects who wore the brace for more hours. Dolan will provide an overview of this study as well as initiatives that have been started as a result of these successful findings. One of these initiatives includes a request to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to review current policies regarding adolescent idiopathic scoliosis related to school screening and treatment. Davis will talk about the current standards of care for scoliosis bracing, as well as how to promote collaboration between orthotists and orthopedists. Wynne will discuss how practitioners can implement quality assessment and improvement into their clinical protocols regarding scoliosis treatment. Robinson will cover how orthotists can become more adept in scoliosis bracing. Session attendees will learn about the current evidence for scoliosis bracing and ways in which to be engaged with this patient population.

Session preview written by Nina Bondre.