A study compared health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between walkers and non-walkers who had an amputation due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and concluded that walking ability with a prosthesis is important for the patient’s perceived HRQoL and that post-amputation rehabilitation should focus on independence and movability and not only on walking ability.
Ninety-eight patients with a major amputation due to PAD were included in the study during 2014-2018. They were interviewed using the EQ-5D-3L (HRQoL), Stanmore Harold Wood mobility grade (prosthesis use), and Houghton scale (prosthesis habits).
Seventy-three of the patients completed the one-year follow-up and 56 of those received a prosthesis. Twenty-three used it to walk both inside and outside. EQ-5D-3L at follow-up was increased in all patients in comparison to baseline (0.16 versus 0.59). Patients walking with prosthesis had the largest improvement (0.12 versus 0.78). A sub-analysis studying the importance of independent movement showed an improved HRQoL at follow-up among those classified as prosthesis-user and walker, but not among non-prosthesis users.
The implications for rehabilitation indicated that wider prescription of prostheses after an amputation to those predicted as non-walkers may increase the number of patients with independence and improved HRQoL. When using their prosthesis for independent movement, patients who were otherwise unable to walk due to their amputation were able to achieve HRQoL comparable to walking amputees.
The study, Health-related quality of life and prosthesis use among patients amputated due to peripheral arterial disease–a one-year follow-up, was published in Disability and Rehabilitation.