Facilitating Psychosocial Adjustment to Traumatic Amputations: Perspectives of Occupational Therapists
Amputation--rehabilitation; Amputees--Psychology; Amputees--Care--United States
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives and experiences of three occupational therapists in the United States in addressing psychosocial reaction and adjustment in the treatment of individuals with traumatic amputations. Occupational therapists with extensive experience working with clients with traumatic amputations were selected as participants. Data from the participant interviews revealed two major themes: (1) Individuals’ internal resources and response to amputation influence psychosocial adjustment and (2) Occupational therapists addressing psychosocial reactions in individuals with traumatic amputations in the context of treatment. The first theme “Individuals’ internal resources…” had two subthemes: (a) the influence of individuals’ internalized resources and responses, and (b) family support, culture and background. The second theme, “occupational therapists addressing psychosocial reactions…” had two subthemes: (a) occupation based, client centered treatment, and (b) therapeutic use of self. These themes demonstrated that individuals’ pre-morbid coping skills and external supports are crucial factors in adjusting to a traumatic amputation, and that occupational therapists’ use of meaningful activities and a therapeutic use of self, as well as appropriate timing of treatment can give the best support to the client. This study suggests that understanding a client on a deeper level and finding out what is motivating to that client are the best ways to promote psychosocial adjustment to a traumatic amputation.
Date of Completion
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
Date of Award
University of Puget Sound