Outcomes following inpatient rehabilitation of lower limb amputees
Batten , Heather, Kuys, Suzanne S, McPhail, Steven, Nitz, Jenny, & Varghese, Paul (2012) Outcomes following inpatient rehabilitation of lower limb amputees. Australasian Journal On Ageing, 31(S2), p. 68.
Introduction: Lower-limb amputations are a serious adverse consequence of lifestyle related chronic conditions and a serious concern among the aging population in Australia. Lower limb amputations have severe personal, social and economic impacts on the individual, healthcare system and broader community. This study aimed to address a critical gap in the research literature by investigating the physical functioning and social characteristics of lower limb amputees at discharge from tertiary hospital inpatient rehabilitation.
Method: A cohort study was implemented among patients with lower limb amputations admitted to a Geriatric Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit for rehabilitation at a tertiary hospital. Conventional descriptive statistics were used to examine patient demographic, physical functioning and social living outcomes recorded for patients admitted between 2005 and 2011.
Results: A total of 423 admissions occurred during the study period, 313 (74%) were male. This sample included admissions for left (n = 189, 45%), right (n = 220, 52%) and bilateral (n = 14, 3%) lower limb amputations, with 15 (3%) patients dying whilst an inpatient. The mean (standard deviation) age was 65 (13.9) years. Amputations attributed to vascular causes accounted for 333 (78%) admissions; 65 (15%) of these had previously had an amputation. The mean (SD) length of stay in the rehabilitation unit was 56 (42) days. Prior to this admission, 123 (29%) patients were living alone, 289 (68%) were living with another and 3 (0.7%) were living in residential care. Following this amputation related admission, 89 (21%) patients did not return to their prior living situation. Of those admitted, 187 (44%) patients were discharged with a lower limb prosthesis.
Conclusion: The clinical group is predominately older adults. The ratio of males to females was approximately 3:1. Over half did not return to walking and many were not able to return to their prior accommodation. However, few patients died during their admission.
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