Original Research

The impact of lower limb amputation on community reintegration of a population in Johannesburg: A Qualitative perspective

L. Godlwana, A. Stewart
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 69, No 4 | a379 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v69i4.379 | © 2013 L. Godlwana, A. Stewart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 2013 | Published: 16 January 2013

About the author(s)

L. Godlwana, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, South Africa
A. Stewart, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, South Africa

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Aim: To explore the experiences and perceptions of people with lower limb amputations from the Johannesburg metropolitan area on the impact that their amputations had on their lives and their return to their communities. Methods: Semi-structured audio-taped in-depth interviews were used to collect data on 12 purposively selected participants. Ethical clearance was obtained. A General Inductive Approach was used to generate or discover themes within the data using a process of systematic coding. Results: Emerging from the qualitative data were psychological, social and religious themes. Suicidal thoughts, dependence, poor acceptance, public perception about body image, phantom limb related falls and hopes of obtaining prostheses were reported. Some reported poor social involvement due to mobility problems and employment concerns, while families and friends were found to be supportive. Participants had faith in God. Conclusion: Generally, most participants had come to terms with the amputation and were managing well while some expressed that they were struggling with reintegration to their communities of origin three months postoperatively with both functional and psychosocial challenges.


Lower limb amputation; Experiences; Outcome; Feelings


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