Do aesthetics matter in prosthetics?

Anna Richardson, Sarah Day

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review



The concept of aesthetics often appears to be an after-thought when producing a prosthesis. Although literature frequently considers aesthetics there is limited research into aesthetics of prostheses specifically.

Review the literature regarding aesthetics in terms of prosthetics.

A Boolean combination of relevant key words was used in a search of five electronic databases, Web of Science (Core Collection), ProQuest (Biological Science Index), PubMed, APA PsychInfo and Google Scholar. Full text publications were selected according to relevant inclusion and exclusion criteria. The resulting papers were then ranked using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).

26 papers were selected for review. Key themes included, mental health, personal identity, expression and fashion, aesthetic options, culture and geography, gender and relationships, and limb absence level or cause.

This study area is extremely subjective, which, combined with small study groups, caused few statistically significant conclusions quantitatively and some contradictions qualitatively. Longitudinal studies would be of benefit in this area, but few have been carried out. Recommendations are made for further research, exploring gaps discovered in the literature. The mental health impacts in terms of the need for societal acceptance and self-expression are prominent themes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2021
EventInternational Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics 18th World Congress - Virtual
Duration: 1 Nov 20214 Nov 2021


ConferenceInternational Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics 18th World Congress
Abbreviated titleISPO 2021
Internet address


  • prosthesis
  • aesthetics
  • mental health
  • personal identity


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