Original Research

Differences in characteristics between people with lower limb amputations who died before 12 weeks and those who survived: Short Report

L. Godlwana, A. Stewart, E. Musenge
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 67, No 1 | a38 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v67i1.38 | © 2011 L. Godlwana, A. Stewart, E. Musenge | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 January 2011 | Published: 19 February 2011

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L. Godlwana, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
A. Stewart, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
E. Musenge, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

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The baseline determinants of survival following a non-traumatic lower limb amputation (LLA) in participants in the Johannesburg metropolitan area are unknown.The aim of the study was to establish the characteristics of participants who had died by three months after LLAA longitudinal pre- test- post test study utilized participant interviews (n=73).  Consecutive  sampling  was  used  to  select  participants  who  met  the  inclusion criteria. Ethical clearance was obtained. Permission was obtained from the hospitals. Participants gave consent before taking part in the study. A demographic questionnaire, the EQ-5D, the Modified Household Economic and Social Status Index (HESSI) and the Barthel Index (BI) were used, to collect data. Participants  were  interviewed  preoperatively  and  then  followed  up  three  months  post-operatively  to  establish survival/ existence. Twenty-four  participants  (33%)  had  died.  The  preoperative  median  Visual  Analogue  Scale  (VAS)  of  the  EQ-5D was 60 and 70 showing no significant difference in quality of life (QOL) between those who survived and those who  died  respectively.  The  preoperative  median  total  BI  score  was  20  and  19  showing  significantly  inferior  function for the deceased (p=0.01). The deceased were significantly older (p=0.009) used alcohol (p=0.02) and smoked tobacco (p=0.03).Being older, having poorer function, being a smoker and drinking alcohol preoperatively seem to decrease the chance of survival following LLA in Johannesburg.


lower limb amputation; survival; quality of life; function; socio-economic status


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