Social participation in persons with upper limb amputation receiving an esthetic prosthesis

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2 Citations (SciVal)


Study Design: Qualitative study. Introduction: An amputation injury to the hand may lead to not only impaired hand function but also psychosocial consequences. Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to explore personal experiences of social participation for persons provided with an esthetic prosthesis after acquired upper limb amputation. Methods: Thirteen persons with acquired upper limb amputation, who were in need of and had received an esthetic prosthesis, were interviewed. The transcribed text was subjected to content analysis. Results: The emotional reactions to a visibly different hand were linked to a changed appearance and a feeling of being exposed. Recollecting the accident could result in nightmares and sleeping disorders. A change of personality, due to sadness after the amputation was expressed, as well as social insecurity and impact on relations and life roles. Adapting to social challenges comprised hiding or exposing the hand, using personal internal resources and receiving support from others. The esthetic prosthesis contributed to an intact appearance and could serve as a facilitator for initial or long-term social participation. The time that had passed since the injury made it easier to deal with the consequences or in achieving acceptance. Discussion: Coping with emotions and social relations after an acquired amputation can be difficult and complex. Conclusions: Individual needs must be considered and questions about appearance and how it may affect social participation must be asked. An esthetic prosthesis can normalize the appearance and offer the confidence needed to facilitate social participation in those struggling with appearance-related concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-527
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Issue number4
Early online date2019 May 9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiotherapy
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Adaptation
  • Participation
  • Prosthesis
  • Social participation
  • Upper limb amputation
  • Visible difference


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