Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify factors that predict an individual's subjective quality of life (QoL) after having a lower limb amputation.
Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study design.
Subjects: A total of 415 unilateral, above knee (27.0%) and below knee (73.0%) amputees with an average age of 61.9 years (SD = 15.7) who had lost their limb related to vascular (53.0%) or non-vascular (47.0%) etiology.
Methods: Medical chart review, questionnaires (Frenchay Activities Index, Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, the Center for Epidemiology Studies - Depression scale, Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaire mobility subscale, and the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale) and a QoL Visual Analogue Scale were assessed using multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: The analysis revealed seven significant factors (depression, perceived prosthetic mobility, social support, comorbidity, prosthesis problems, age and social activity participation) as predictors of subjects' perceived QoL. Depression explained 30% of the variation, while the full model explained 42% of the variation.
Conclusion: Several modifiable characteristics influence QoL after lower limb amputation including depression and participation in daily living. This finding suggests the importance of addressing individuals' affective status to regain or maintain QoL.