Coping, affective distress, and psychosocial adjustment among people with traumatic upper limb amputations

  • Desmond D
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Abstract

Objective: This study investigated the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety in a sample of predominantly elderly males with acquired upper limb amputations (n=138) and examined the contribution of coping strategies to the prediction of psychosocial adjustment. Method: One hundred and thirty-eight men with injury-related upper limb amputations completed self-report questionnaires assessing coping strategies, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and psychosocial adaptation to prosthesis use. Results: Prevalence of significant depressive symptoms was 28.3% [Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Depression subscale (HADS-D) score ≥8]. Prevalence of significant anxiety symptoms was 35.5% [HADS Anxiety subscale (HADS-A) score ≥8]. Coping styles emerged as important predictors of psychosocial adaptation. In particular, avoidance was strongly associated with psychological distress and poor adjustment. Conclusions: These findings suggest the potential benefits of interventions to reduce reliance on avoidant coping and stimulate more problem-focused approaches to coping with difficulties and challenges in order to facilitate adaptation and prevent problems in psychosocial functioning postamputation. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amputation
  • Coping
  • Psychosocial adjustment
  • Upper limb

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