Your Shopping Cart

Better Psychological Planning Pre-Amputation is Key to Quality of Life Post-Amputation

Posted by Bryan Potok, CPO on

When it comes to ensuring better post-amputation outcomes, a holistic approach is required, which is why it’s not enough to trust that the quality of the surgery or the craftsmanship of a prosthetic device is enough to ensure a positive outcome. How an individual copes with limb loss is influenced by various factors, but one element tends to outweigh the others—psychological problems. 

Improved psychological planning pre-amputation can ensure quality of life post-amputation

The American Psychological Association (APA) sought to determine this and assessed how psychological factors, such as individual coping strategies, social support, and demographic characteristics among others affect psycho-social adjustment to lower-limb amputation. 

The researchers observed a sample of 86 Portuguese patients with type 2 diabetes, all of whom underwent a lower-limb amputation. They were evaluated in the hospital after the surgery, as well as inpatient follow-up consultations after one, six, and 10 months. 

The results of the longitudinal study showed that there is a need to improve psychological screening and early treatment of anxiety symptoms before the surgery. There is also a need to improve symptoms of traumatic stress and depression after an amputation further, and the study advocated for the importance of social support over time. 

According to the study, patients that demonstrated higher levels of anxiety before the surgery showed lower social adjustment after the surgery. And those who showed high function pre-amputation showed a greater ability to adjust to any prosthetic limitations. 

As for traumatic stress, this typically created a difficult social and overall adjustment period, particularly to the perceived limitations of this new amputee lifestyle. On a positive note, social support helped tremendously and was capable of mediating the relationship between traumatic stress and the adjustment to limb loss.

Does gender make a difference? Yes, according to the study, men were associated with higher depression and anxiety symptoms.  

What did you think about these findings? Let us know in the comments section below.  
Link to this page
<a href="https://amputeestore.com/blogs/amputee-store-blog/improved-psychological-planning-pre-amputation-can-ensure-quality-of-life-post-amputation-study-says">Better Psychological Planning Pre-Amputation is Key to Quality of Life Post-Amputation</a>

Older Post Newer Post


3 comments


  • My husband had an above-knee amputation in June of 2018 due to vascular issues following open heart surgery. He still is depressed and feeling like he’s no longer a man. Fortunately we have a lot of support from family and friends but understandably it’s not enough. I know if we keep encouraging him, he’ll eventually get through all the hard parts and regularly use his prosthetic but he could really use some professional help in the meantime.

    Kimberly on

  • How did patient age factor in? In my limited experience that seems significant.

    Darrel Smith on

  • Absolutely agree w this article. I was a nurse for 38 years before my amputation and the LAST thing I wanted to hear about was getting a prosthesis. I wanted to know how to get thru the coming up 2-3 months postop.

    DEBORAH L RIPPLINGER on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Subscribe

Sign up for Amputee News and Offers