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The experience of men using an upper limb prosthesis following amputation: Positive coping and minimizing feeling different

Saradjian, Adam, Thompson, Andrew R. ORCID: and Datta, Dipak 2008. The experience of men using an upper limb prosthesis following amputation: Positive coping and minimizing feeling different. Disability and Rehabilitation 30 (11) , pp. 871-883. 10.1080/09638280701427386

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Purpose. Psychosocial factors are likely to play a crucial role in adjustment to upper limb amputation and prosthesis use, and yet have received only minimal exploration within the literature. This study therefore, sought to gain a rich understanding of the experience of living with an upper limb amputation and of using a prosthetic arm and hand. Methods. The qualitative method of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used. Purposive sampling culminated in a homogenous sample of 11 males with unilateral upper limb amputations, who wore a prosthesis at least weekly. Semi-structured interviews were carried out, transcribed and analysed according to the methodology. Results. Participants identified a theme of ongoing awareness of difference in appearance and ability. Consequently, participants described themes of psychosocial and functional adjustment to minimize this sense of difference. This was facilitated by the participants' prostheses and their positive coping style. Within this, participants also identified the personal meanings of their prosthesis and highlighted the terms of its use. The minimization of their sense of difference resulted in participants regaining a sense of worth. Conclusions. The findings offer a greater psychological insight into adjustment from an upper limb amputation and the role of prostheses. These findings have implications for both the clinical rehabilitation of patients who undergo upper limb amputations, as well as for future research into the use and value of prostheses in facilitating the adjustment to this experience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 0963-8288
Date of Acceptance: 1 May 2007
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:49

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