A user-driven approach to prosthetic upper limb development in Korea

Naan Ju, Kyu Hye Lee, Myoung Ok Kim, Youngjin Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite recent significant advances in technology and medicine, the number of patients who undergo amputation of body parts for various reasons continues to increase. Assistive devices such as prosthetic arms can enable limited activities in upper limb amputees and improve their quality of life. This study aims to help in the development of user-centered prosthetics by identifying user requirements and key considerations during selection of prosthetics. This study conducted a questionnaire survey after obtaining prior consent for persons with disabilities with upper limb amputation who visited orthosis companies, rehabilitation centers for the disabled, veteran’s hospitals, and labor welfare corporations. A modified questionnaire was conducted to upper limb prosthetic users and results were analysed using descriptive statistics and t-test. Results of the study showed that the main reasons for discontinuing the use of prosthetics were discomfort (discomfort in wear, weight, and difficulty of detachment) and complaints regarding design and function. Regardless of the prosthesis type, the color and design of the prosthesis were key considerations in prosthesis choices. Respondents indicated that they needed various prostheses designed according to the purpose and situation, such as for sports like golf and cycling as well as everyday use. Most of the respondents answered that buttoning shirts, tying knots, and using chopsticks were challenging or impossible to do on their own. Based on the results of this study, the quality of life of upper limb amputees can be improved if a prosthetic arm with various functions that can satisfy both the user’s needs and wants is developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number839
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive technology
  • Prosthetic upper limb
  • Technology development
  • Upper limb amputee
  • User satisfaction
  • User-centered prosthetic upper limb
  • User’s needs
  • User’s requirements


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