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A Study of the Amputee Experience of Viewing Self in the Mirror

Freysteinson, Wyona PhD, MN; Thomas, Lisa MS, APRN, CNS, CRRN; Sebastian-Deutsch, Amy DNP, APRN, CNS, AOCNS; Douglas, Denika PhD; Melton, Danielle MD; Celia, Tania MSN, RN; Reeves, Kristin MSPT; Bowyer, Patricia EdD, MS, OTR, FAOTA

doi: 10.1002/rnj.256
Clinical Consultation

Purpose To describe the trajectory of viewing self in a mirror after an ampu-tation and participants’ perceptions of what health care professionals should know about mirrors.

Design Hermeneutic phenomenology

Methods Focus groups were conducted to collect the research data.

Findings The mirror experience had three key moments: decision, seeing, and consent. The trajectory of viewing self in a mirror had four key themes: mirror shock, mirror anguish, recognizing self, and acceptance: a new normal. Participants’ recommendations for introducing the mirror after an amputation and using a mirror to avoid skin breakdown and infection, and correct gait and balance are described.

Conclusions This study provides a unique viewpoint into the world of those who have suffered amputation of a limb.

Clinical Relevance Rehabilitation nurses and other health care professionals are encouraged through these participants to consider the effect and value of mirrors when caring for those who have had an amputation.

1 Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing, Texas Woman’s University, Houston, TX, USA

2 Education, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX, USA

3 Cancer Services, Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, TX, USA

4 Psychology and Philosophy, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, USA

5 Amputee Clinic, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX, USA

6 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center-Medical School, Houston, TX, USA

7 School of Occupational Therapy-Houston, College of Health Sciences, Texas Woman’s University, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence: Wyona Freysteinson, Assistant Professor, Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing, Texas Woman’s University, 15819 Mesa Gardens, Houston, TX 77095. E-mail: wfreysteinson@twu.edu

[The copyright line for this article was changed on February 16, 2016, after original online publication.]

Accepted November 10, 2015.

Cite this article as: Freysteinson W., Thomas L., Sebastian-Deutsch A., Douglas D., Melton D., Celia T., Reeves K., & Bowyer P. (2017). A Study of the Amputee Experience of Viewing Self in the Mirror. Rehabilitation Nursing, 42(1), 22–32. doi: 10.1002/rnj.256

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