Toru Sueyoshi, BSc(OT), MSc
Research area: Paediatric Prosthetic hands Use and Developmental prehension patterns
Based at University of Southampton
Supervisors: Prof. Cheryl Metcalf and Dr Donovan-Hall
I completed pre-registered Occupational therapy degree and worked clinically as an OT in hand therapy and paediatrics in Japan. After some years of clinical experience, I travelled in Canada and New Zealand for 2 years and a half and explored OT practice outside my country. I returned to Japan in 2018 and went back to my clinical practice at orthopaedic clinics and did research at the University of Tokyo. After I had the opportunity to work with a considerable number of children with prosthetics in Japan and Canada, it reassured me that this is the field I want to pursue my career. However, it was also at this time that I realised the true breadth and complexity of the field. On top of the psychological challenges that patients undergo, I am acutely aware of the difficulties of providing well-trailered, prosthetic hand treatment and training, based on children and their parents’ true needs. To deepen my knowledge in this field, I decided to pursue my master’s in Amputation and Prosthetic Rehabilitation at the University of Southampton and complete it in 2022.
My eventual goal in my doctoral training is to develop an outcome measure for children using prosthetic hands. Growing up with prosthetic hands in childhood is a unique experience. Unfortunately, many children abandon their prosthetic hands because they often have difficulty performing meaningful child occupations with their prescribed prosthetic hands (e.g., play). In my doctoral project, I am developing a new upper limb prosthetic outcome measure, co-designed with children and their parents throughout the development process, to ensure that actual child occupational needs are at the core of the new outcome measure.