Sharing Knowledge, Gaining Perspectives

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By Andrea Spridgen
Andrea Spridgen

Early this month, O&P professionals and other representatives of the rehabilitation healthcare professions will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, at the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics World Congress to share their knowledge, expertise, and perspectives with one another. It is in this spirit that we devote this issue of The O&P EDGE  to exploring aspects of patient care beyond the context of U.S. treatment norms.

"Baylor Partnership Develops New Model to Aid Sri Lankan Amputees" describes how Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Global Initiatives is putting shared knowledge into practice by partnering with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine to leverage advances in U.S.-based 3D printing and software technology. The two groups hope the program they are creating will allow them to address the large, underserved population of individuals with amputations in an efficient, economical, sustainable manner. As Caroline Soyars, BASc, BS, a global health fellow at Baylor, points out, the relationship is give-and-take, as people from established institutions in Sri Lanka will play an important role in sustainability by providing the skills and knowledge to maintain the technical components of the project necessary for its success.

In "Europe's Pursuit of a Better Transhumeral Residual Limb," we learn about international efforts to improve surgical techniques to achieve more successful prosthetic fittings. While the approaches shared in this article have not yet reached mainstream use, they represent developments toward improving prosthetic options for those with upper-limb loss, and dissemination of this information may spur creativity across borders.

Our final feature, "Culturally Sensitive Care," stresses the importance of being aware of cultural perspectives different from our own-particularly for practitioners providing patient care. In that vein, I would encourage us all to not only be aware of cultural differences, but also to deepen our understanding by taking opportunities for crosscultural knowledge sharing when they are presented.

In closing, I want to mention that coming this fall we will once again be publishing our ever-popular biennial Salary Survey, and we need your participation. Look for links to the survey in EDGE Direct and on www.opedge.com this month.

Happy reading.