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Forty-seven rehabilitated unilateral transtibial amputees were recruited from a metropolitan prosthetics service in Adelaide, South Australia.All participants were fitted with a definitive prosthesis at least 6 months prior to recruitment.Wearable technology is an important development in the field of rehabilitation as it has the potential to progress understanding of activity and function in various patient groups.For lower limb amputees, falls occur frequently, and are likely to affect function in the community.Data from the accelerometer and GPS were linked to assess community activity and participation.Forty-six transtibial amputees completed the study (79% male, 35% identified as fallers).These findings highlight the potential of wearable technology to assist in the understanding of activity and function in rehabilitation and to further emphasise the importance of clinical falls assessments to improve the overall quality of life in this population.The use of wearable technology is an important development in the field of rehabilitation.

Participants were supplied with a battery charger and clear written instructions for charging the GPS device nightly.2 Both the SAM and GPS devices were returned after a minimum of seven complete days of data recordings.The ability to remotely monitor activity can provide rehabilitation clinicians with accurate objective data, otherwise unobtainable and difficult to replicate in a clinic setting.Global positioning system (GPS) devices, a form of wearable technology, have recently gained popularity as a method to monitor the locations visited, and participation in the community for various patient groups including amputees,1 4 multiple sclerosis5 and following orthopaedic surgery.6–8 The use of GPS was found to be a feasible and reliable method of collecting community visit data with greater accuracy than self-reported travel diaries.3 GPS devices have primarily been used to identify community visits out of home,1 2 One of these studies obtained step count and location data for a single transfemoral amputee over a month, demonstrating the capacity to reliably obtain data over extended periods.1 A larger study demonstrated that data obtained from linked wearable technology may better differentiate functional abilities of transtibial amputees than current clinical assessments.2 For these studies which have linked data from wearable technology, a greater understanding of activity and participation was obtained with relatively little data loss associated with the use of GPS.Identifying potential relationships between falls and community activity and participation in lower limb amputees would highlight the importance of clinical falls assessments and further demonstrate the importance of wearable technology as an objective assessment of community integration.We hypothesised that amputees with a history of falls would have lower levels of community activity and participation.

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