An exploratory phenomenological study exploring the experiences of people with systemic disease who have undergone lower limb amputation and its impact on their well-being.

Article English OPEN
Washington, ED ; Williams, AE (2014)

Study Design\ud A qualitative study utilising an iterative approach in line with the philosophy of interpretive phenomenology.\ud Background\ud Amputation is a life-changing event accompanied by challenges for the affected person with time-dependent depression often used to quantify its level of impact. There are varied factors that contribute to the occurrence of depression and its persistence. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences over time of people with diabetes and/or peripheral vascular disease following an amputation and the impact on their psychological wellbeing.\ud Objectives\ud To develop an understanding of the experience of living with an amputation and a chronic condition in order to help clinicians identify those in need of counselling support. \ud Methodology\ud 6 participants who had experienced a lower limb amputation associated with peripheral vascular disease/diabetes were interviewed on two occasions (baseline and four months). An Interpretative Phenomenological approach was utilised for both data collection and analysis.\ud Results\ud For these participants, amputation was part of the chronology of their chronic disease. It was the individual’s variable experience of health which impacted on their psychological well-being rather than the length of time since amputation.\ud Conclusion\ud The multivariable experience of amputation means that individually tailored counselling/psychological support is recommended.
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