We surveyed users of adaptive equipments (such as prosthesis and orthosis) for people with disabilities with the aim of improving the level of comfort of these items.
In 2007 we conducted a mail-in survey of individuals from around the country who had been using their adaptive equipments regularly for a period of at least six months. As shoe-horn brace (SHB) was the most commonly used item among those surveyed, we will concentrate our report on the information obtained for SHB in order to improve the user's quality of life.
Respondents generally indicated that they use their SHBs whenever they stand or walk. As SHBs are generally made from non-hygroscopic plastic and must be worn close to the skin, respondents reported thermal discomfort when worn properly. The use of plastic also increases the danger of slipping among those who do not wear shoes inside the house, and respondents expressed a desire to improve the material to prevent accidents. In addition, many of the respondents indicated that they did not have full use of their hands, and would like to see an improvement in the ease of attaching their SHBs. They also expressed interest in access to SHBs that they could wear with their clothes and shoes.