Experiences of lower limb prosthesis users in Kenya: a qualitative study to understand motivation to use and satisfaction with prosthetic outcomes

Catherine Holloway, Dr Ben Oldfrey, Grace Magomere, Kate Mattick, Maggie Kate Donovan-Hall, Joseph Gakunga
Feb. 27, 2023
Academic Research Publications


To explore the personal and system factors that motivate and enhance outcomes for patients accessing a prosthetic service and using a lower-limb prosthesis within a low resource setting.

Materials and methods
This study employed a qualitative approach to explore the motivations and satisfaction of individuals with lower limb loss engaging with a prosthetic service in Mombasa, Kenya. In-depth interviews were conducted over Microsoft Teams with 10 lower limb prosthesis users and thematic analysis was applied.

Five key themes emerged: acceptance, self-determination, hope, clinician relationship and perception. These findings demonstrate the importance of hopeful thinking and a supportive community in overcoming physical and stigmatising challenges. The findings further highlight the value of the service provider relationship beyond just prescribing an assistive device.

These results have relevance in developing patient-centred services, assistive devices and personnel training that are responsive, motivating, and cognisant of the service user. This is of particular interest as assistive technology services are newly developed in low resource settings.



  • This research provides an understanding of lower-limb prosthesis users’ satisfaction of a device and motivation for engaging with a prosthetic service within a low resource setting.

  • The relationship the rehabilitation professional has with the service user plays a significant role in facilitating motivation during rehabilitation.

  • Rehabilitation professionals should consider how they can foster a network of support amongst service users when planning services in remote, rural locations.

  • Rehabilitation professionals should be aware of how hopeful thinking can be facilitated during rehabilitation to support motivation.

  • When reviewing the success of services, or designing new service models, the service users should be consulted on what they would deem as a successful outcome.