In a cross-sectional study of 368 adults with a unilateral, noncongenital lower-limb amputation, researchers found that the participants were, on average, satisfied with the functioning of their prosthesis, moderately psychosocially adjusted, and not restricted in performing functional and social activities, except for athletic activities. Age, employment, and daily use of the prosthesis and any assistive device were the most important factors associated with adjustments to amputation and prosthesis, followed by gender, comorbidity and amputation level.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted using structured questionnaires including the patient’s background, amputation, and the Trinity Amputation and Prosthesis Experience Scales (TAPES).
Because positive adjustments to amputation and a prosthetic limb play important roles in the rehabilitation process, the researchers assessed the possible role of different background and amputation-related factors that could influence these adjustments. From their findings, the researchers concluded that evaluation of employment status and measures to curb unemployment through vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance should be an intrinsic part of rehabilitation. Measures to alleviate employment and comorbidity issues, a routine evaluation of daily use of the prosthesis, and providing appropriate gait training might facilitate immediate and long-term adjustment.
The study was published May 30, 2013, online before print on the Prosthetics and Orthotics International website.