Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Burger, H., and Marin?ek, ?. (2007). Return to work after lower limb amputation. Disability and rehabilitation, 29 (17), 1323-1329.
Title:  Return to work after lower limb amputation
Authors:  Burger, H., and Marin?ek, ?.
Year:  2007
Journal/Publication:  Disability and rehabilitation
Publisher:  Taylor and Francis
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Literature review

Structured abstract:

Background:  The ultimate goal of rehabilitation, regardless of disability, is to reintroduce the person as a productive member of society. Despite this, employment is not included in the set of standards for rehabilitated individuals who have had lower limb amputation.
Purpose:  The purpose is to review literature on reemployment post lower limb amputation
Setting:  The literature studied came from 13 different countries, though the majority came from the US, Netherlands, and Canada.
Data collection and analysis:  To obtain the data, the researchers searched MEDLINE and PubMED for articles that fit their needs.
Findings:  The percentages of subjects who got reemployed vary fairly widely between studies, though the most common number is around 66%. In addition, studies report who only got part-time work, and who worked full-time. The range was 34% to 50% for part-time work. The percentage of people who returned to the same type of work also varied between studies. Veterans, as well as civilians who performed physically demanding work often had to change jobs as a result of their amputation. Those who did not tended to have less physical jobs. Only 4 studies mentioned how long post-operation the subjects returned to work, ranging from 9 months to 2.3 years. Some factors that affect the return to work include: age (but only for men), sex, level and number of amputations, comorbidity, the reason for amputation, chronic stump problems, comfort of prosthesis, mobility restrictions, and time taken to obtain a prosthesis. Some work-related factors include job involvement, employer support, and social supports.
Conclusions:  Many subjects have problems returning to work after an amputation, and may need to change their job entirely or work only part-time. Vocational rehabilitation is essential for assisting those with lower limb amputations to become productive members of society, and cooperation between professionals in the medical and business fields is necessary for improvement.

Disabilities served:  Medical impairment
Outcomes:  Return to work