Life After Amputation: A Case Study
AbstractIn the Philippines, the National Council on Disability made a survey revealing a prevalence of43.367 disabled who lost one or both legs and/or feet. This study explored the challengesencountered and coping mechanisms an amputee manifests, and the assistance that they getfrom their expected support system. This case study was anchored on Dorothea Orem’s SelfCare Theory of Nursing. Four purposively sampled amputee informants were interviewed andobserved. Primary and secondary data were gathered and triangulation with the relatives wasdone to ensure the validity and depth of the results. Data were encoded and analyzed usingthematic analysis. Results revealed that the informants experienced physical, psychological,emotional, socio-economic, and spiritual challenges. Physical challenges involved mobilityproblem and lack of gait balance, physical deformity, adjustment to the new body, alteredphysical appearance, a sedentary behavior, and phantom pain. Psychological challengesinvolved suicidal tendency, loss of libido, self-pity, and depression. Emotional challengesincluded fear and hopelessness. Socio-economic challenges involved the development of antisocial behavior, dissociative behavior, fear of losing a job, problem with money, and fear ofrejection. Spiritual challenges involved loss of faith. Coping mechanism included support fromfamily and friends, mastery of gait and balance, proper practice in using assistive devices,hastened adjustment to the new body, wearing of prosthesis, medication and mobility, and trustin God. Although they get strong support from the family and friends, there is very limitedassistance from the government and the community. There is a need to increase familyawareness in anticipating the needs of the amputees. Likewise, full support must be given tothem. Health education campaign may be formulated by the local health leaders and provisionof assistive devices and equipment to achieve the equalization and opportunities for personswith disabilities may also be done.
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