In a recent study, researchers assessed employment status for people with upper-limb loss, whether the individuals needed to change jobs as a result of limb loss, and if demographic or impairment-specific factors were correlated with employment status or the need to switch jobs. The results suggested that individuals with upper-limb amputations have a lower employment rate than the national average.
The data was collected in an online survey, and the researchers explored the relationships between employment status and 11 personal factors (e.g., age at amputation, highest education level). A total of 199 and 160 respondents were deemed eligible for the employment status and job-switch analyses, respectively.
Of the working-age respondents, 60.8 percent were employed at the time of survey. Twenty-nine percent reported needing to change jobs because of their amputations.
Factors negatively associated with employment included having a bilateral amputation, lower education level, older age at amputation, higher pain frequency, and wearing a prosthesis less frequently. Higher education level was the only significant predictor of successful employment in the logistic regression model. There were no significant relationships between any factor and the need to change jobs after amputation.
The study, “Employment Status in Individuals with Upper-Limb Amputation: A Survey of Current Trends,” was published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics.