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Evaluating Treatment Preferences and Perceptions of a Prosthetic Versus a Transplanted Hand: A Conjoint Analysis-Based Study.

INTRODUCTION: This study used a conjoint analysis-based survey to assess which factors are most influential when considering treatment with a prosthesis or transplant after a unilateral hand amputation. METHODS: Overall, 469 respondents were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk and asked to assume that they experienced a hand amputation. To determine preferences for a prosthetic, respondents chose among 11 pairs of alternatives with variations in the following attributes: appearance, function, maintenance, and learning time. Respondents were then presented with descriptions of the risks and outcomes of hand transplantation. The most compelling reasons for and against a transplant were determined and characteristics predictive of support for a transplant were identified. RESULTS: The most important attributes for a prosthesis were "lifelike appearance" and "myolectric function." For hand transplantation, respondents were most concerned about immunosuppression side effects (n = 323, 69%) and the intense nature of surgery (n = 275, 59%), whereas the most positive benefit was the concept of the transplant being "natural" (n = 339, 72%). When faced with the choice of a hand transplant or a prosthetic, approximately 50% of respondents chose a transplantation. Younger age, previous medical experiences, a perceived "familiarity with medical issues," and the regular attendance of religious services were associated with strong support for a hand transplantation (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: When considering a hand prosthesis, respondents are motivated most by appearance and function. Meanwhile, with hand transplantation, the risks of immunosuppression and the intense nature of surgery and recovery are predominant concerns. These findings may help inform patient-physician discussions when considering treatment after unilateral hand amputation.


Shammas, Ronnie L., Ji Huh, Joel Huber, and Suhail K. Mithani. “Evaluating Treatment Preferences and Perceptions of a Prosthetic Versus a Transplanted Hand: A Conjoint Analysis-Based Study.” Ann Plast Surg 88, no. 1 (January 1, 2022): 99–104.

Published Date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2022
Published In: 
Ann Plast Surg