A field test was performed in El Salvador to evaluate the usefulness of the Shape&Roll prosthetic foot, a foot developed for low-income countries, involving 12 participants. Quantitative gait parameters were measured with a Direct Ultrasound Ranging System (DURS). Qualitative information was obtained from questionnaires administered before and after a three-week trial. The results indicate that the Shape&Roll foot widened the speed range of all participants. According to the questionnaires, the Shape&Roll foot eases walking, enabling participants to walk significantly longer distances. The participants rated its roll-over as very natural and smooth, resulting in a self-perceived reduced walking effort. Handling inclined and uneven surfaces was also rated superior to their current Solid Ankle Cushioned Heel (SACH)-like feet.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education under grant H133E980023. The opinions contained in this publication are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Education. We acknowledge the Center for International Rehabilitation (CIR), Chicago, and the Rehabilitation Center FUNTER (Fundación Teletón Pro-Rehabilitación) in San Salvador, El Salvador, for their collaboration. We also send a warm thank you to the participants for their time and critical feedback. On a personal note, Dr Meier would like to thank the Erich and Hildegard Henssler Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland, for their wonderful support during her post-doctoral fellowship in Chicago. Their assistance was much appreciated and is greatly acknowledged.