Category: Limb Restoration Rehabilitation; Measurement
Objective : The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of community-dwelling adults living with dysvascular lower limb amputations (LLA).
Design : Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with individuals with a dysvascular LLA.
Setting : Interviews were conducted with community dwelling adults in-person or by telephone.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Participants were included if they were English-speaking adults (18 years and older) who were at least 3 months post-amputation and no longer receiving inpatient rehabilitation from one of three participating rehabilitation institutes in Ontario, Canada. Sampling was purposive to ensure variation by gender, level of amputation, and geographic location
Interventions : Interventions: Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : The interviews focused on participants' perceptions and experiences of living with LLA. Transcripts were analyzed using an inductive content-analysis approach.
Thirty interviews were completed with individuals with dysvascular LLA (22 male, 8 female; 20 with transtibial amputations, 4 with transfemoral amputations and 6 with bilateral amputations). Findings highlight the following aspects of participants' experiences living with dysvascular LLAs: 1) Adjustment to limb loss (physical and psychological); 2) Participation in life roles and activities following limb loss (e.g. social activities, work); 3) The role of social support (i.e. health professional, family/friend, peer); 4) Challenges with transportation and the built environment (e.g. accessibility of buildings); and 5) Management of one's health (including self-management and access to care).
This research provides insight into the significant impact of dysvascular LLA on individuals' lives. In particular, participation in life roles and activities and social support following LLA were noted to impact quality of life. The issues identified by participants have implications for optimizing support for people with limb loss and for measuring outcomes that are viewed as being important to patients.
Crystal MacKay– Scientist, West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Stephanie Cimino– Research Analyst, St. John’s Rehab, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Sara Guilcher– Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Michael Devlin– Physiatrist, West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Steven Dilkas– Physiatrist, West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Amanda Mayo– Physiatrist, St. John’s Rehab, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Sander Hitzig– Scientist, St. John’s Rehab Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Ricardo Viana– Physiatrist, Parkwood Institute, London, Ontario