Purpose: For a better understanding of the possible impact of impairments and disabilities on the life of individuals with lower limb amputation,it is important to explore the levels of Life Accomplishment (LA), Social Functioning and Participation (SFP) among them.The present study, set in South-Eastern Nigeria, aimed to study these levels and the influence of selected clinical and demographic variables on these constructs.
Method: This cross-sectional survey involved 60 individuals with lower limb amputation (46 unilateral, 14 bilateral) recruited from all the five South-Eastern Nigerian States. The Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ), Participation Scale and Life Habit Questionnaire were used for measuring levels of social functioning, social participation and life accomplishment, respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics of frequency count, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to test the hypotheses. Alpha level was set at 0.05.
Results: Most of the participants (51.7%-58.3%) had low levels of social functioning across SFQ domains. Most of them (61.7%) had severe participation restrictions, and they all had reduced life accomplishments. Participants with bilateral amputation had poorer levels of social functioning (P<0.0001), participation restriction (P<0.0001), and life habits accomplishment (P<0.0001) than their counterparts with unilateral amputation. Individuals with below-knee amputation had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with above-knee amputation. Participants with prosthetic mobility aids had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with no prosthetic mobility aids. There was no significant difference in the levels of social functioning and participation between male and female participants, but female participants had statistically significant (P<0.0001) higher scores in nine out of twelve life habit domains than their male counterparts.
Conclusion and Implications: Low social functioning, severe participation restrictions, and reduced life accomplishments were prevalent among individuals with lower limb amputation, particularly amongthose with bilateral and above- knee amputations. There is a need to routinely evaluate the studied constructs among individuals with lower limb amputation. The provision of prosthetic aids may help to improve their levels of life accomplishment, social functioning and participation.