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Self-Reported Functional Status in US Service Members After Combat-Related Amputation

Eskridge, Susan L., PT, PhD; Clouser, Mary C., PhD; McCabe, Cameron T., PhD; Watrous, Jessica R., PhD; Galarneau, Michael R., MS, NREMT

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: January 18, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001140
Brief Report: PDF Only

The objective of this study was to describe the functional status of US Service members after combat-related amputation. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from a subsample of the Wounded Warrior Recovery Project (WWRP), an ongoing, web-based, longitudinal examination of patient-reported outcomes of injured service members. The study sample included 82 WWRP participants with a combat-related lower extremity amputation who reported using a prosthetic device and completed the Orthotics and Prosthetics Users’ Survey Lower Extremity Functional Status, which measures self-reported functional status in participants with a prosthetic device. Basic activities, such as walking indoors, getting on and off the toilet, and getting up from a chair, were reported by the majority of participants as “very easy/easy,” whereas higher level activities, such as climbing stairs, walking long distances, or running, were more often reported as “slightly difficult/very difficult” or “cannot do this activity.” Functional status varied significantly by amputation site (unilateral below knee, unilateral above knee, or bilateral; P = 0.004), with significantly better function reported in those with unilateral below knee than bilateral amputation (P < 0.05). These findings highlight deficits in the functional status of US Service members with combat-related amputation. Self-reported functional status of daily activities may help target important activities for patient-centered goals.

From Leidos, San Diego, California (SLE, MCC, CTM, JRW), and Operational Readiness Research Directorate, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California (MRG).

Correspondence: Susan L. Eskridge, PhD, PT, Medical Modeling, Simulation, and Mission Support Department, Naval Health Research Center, 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego, CA 92106. Phone: 1 (619) 553-7026; fax: 1 (619) 553-8378; e-mail:

Author Disclosures: a. Competing interests: none. b. This work was supported with resources provided by the Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence under work unit no. N1333. c. Financial benefits to the authors: none. d. This study was presented in part as a poster at the Military Health System Research Symposium, August 27–30, 2017, Kissimmee, FL.

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