Lower limb amputations for peripheral arterial disease are performed predominantly on an elderly population with poor social support and concomitant medical problems. The effect of amputations on the quality of life of this population has not been properly assessed. The quality of life of 149 amputees from one hospital was evaluated using the Nottingham Health Profile and compared to that of a control group matched for age and sex. One hundred and thirty (87%) amputees and 115 (77%) controls responded to the questionnaire. Amputees reported significantly more problems with mobility, social isolation, lethargy, pain, sleep and emotional disturbance than controls (p < 0.001). However, mobility was the only significant independent factor after matched logistic regression analysis (p < 0.001). The differences in social isolation and emotional distress lost their significance after adjustment for mobility. The overall quality of life following lower limb amputation for peripheral arterial disease is poor, but much of this is secondary to restricted mobility. Rehabilitation following amputation should therefore focus on attempts to improve mobility.
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Quality of life