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Physical activity and quality of life: a study of a lower-limb amputee population

Deans, S.A. and McFadyen, A.K. and Rowe, P.J. (2008) Physical activity and quality of life: a study of a lower-limb amputee population. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 32 (2). pp. 186-200. ISSN 0309-3646

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This cross-sectional descriptive study was initiated to investigate the relationship between physical activity and perceived quality of life in a lower-limb amputee population. The objective was to show which aspects of physical activity were most strongly linked to quality-of-life factors in this special patient group. The outcome measurements were two questionnaires: a section of the Trinity Amputation and Prosthetic Experience Scales (TAPES) and the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life Scale (WHOQOL-Bref). The former measures activity restriction and has Athletic, Functional, and Social subscales. The latter includes Physical, Psychological, Social, and Environmental domains, and measures the individual's perception of their quality of life. The two questionnaires were sent by post to 75 male and female participants with either trans-tibial or trans-femoral amputation who were receiving prosthetic care from a Glasgow-based rehabilitation and mobility centre and who met the inclusion criteria. All participants were over 18 years of age (mean age 66 years). In total, 25 participants returned the questionnaires-a response rate of 33%. According to analysis, 8 of the 12 relationships found were statistically significant. There was a very strong correlation between scores on the social elements of each questionnaire. The correlations between scores on the functional and athletic elements of the TAPES questionnaire and scores on the social element of the WHOQOL-Bref questionnaire were less strong. Our findings support the need for greater acknowledgement by healthcare professionals involved in the care of those with amputation about the importance of the patient's social relationships with friends and family. Education about the importance of increasing and maintaining a level of physical activity conducive to health benefits should be implemented within a supportive sociable environment for the patient with lower-limb amputation.