Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy:
Platform & Poster Presentations Csm 2006: Platform Presentations
North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA.
Purpose/Hypothesis: Many individuals perceive the loss of a body part as a devastating occurrence, affecting various aspects of their well‐being. Although amputation may be considered a life‐saving measure, individuals who incur amputation often experience negative long‐term psychological and psychosocial effects, which may prohibit them from re‐integrating into society and living normal lives. Numerous underlying demographic factors, such as level of amputation, time since amputation and co‐morbid conditions have been associated with psychological adjustments of lower limb amputees. The purpose of this study was to compare the psychosocial constructs of body image and self‐esteem in relation to reported health performance quality of life in older individuals who lost a limb early in life versus those who lost a limb later in life. Number of Subjects: The participants were recruited from a private practice prosthetic clinic. Subjects included in the data analysis were over the age of 50, had a single lower limb amputation, and used a prosthesis. Eleven subjects who experienced a lower limb amputation before the age of 25 were compared to a group of 35 participants who experienced a lower limb amputation after the age of 50. Materials/Methods: A series of questionnaires, including the Amputee Image Body Scale (ABIS), Rosenberg's Self‐Esteem Scale (RSES), Geriatric Depression Scale‐short form (GDS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and Medical Outcomes Survey‐Short Form 36 (SF‐36) were distributed to an accessible population of people with amputation. Results: Individuals who experienced a lower limb amputation before the age of 25 had significantly less concern with body image and higher self‐esteem than those who experienced an amputation after the age of 50. When gender, age, level of amputation, time since amputation, and number of co‐morbid conditions were controlled for in data analyses, significant differences remained between the under‐25 group and the over‐50 group for body image and self‐esteem. No significant differences were found between groups for reported health performance quality of life. Conclusions: Whether a lower limb amputation occurs in early or late life, apparent differences exist in quality of life between older persons with amputation and age‐adjusted healthy norms. Additionally, differences exist in persons across all age groups for body image and self‐esteem. Clinical Relevance: Rehabilitation efforts must therefore continue to address all aspects of the physical and psychosocial domains of health if successful outcomes for older adults with amputation are to be achieved.