A Grounded Theory for behavior post amputation
There is a large array of emotions associated with losing a limb, which are poorly understood. Better understanding of these complicated thoughts and feelings may facilitate better postoperative care, where the needs of the individuals are better met.
This study aimed to define a grounded theory (GT) for behaviour post-amputation (where surgery was due to vascular disease). Three phases were identified:
- “Losing control”: immediately post op, this is how patients reacts to the immediate impact of the surgery;
- “Digesting the shock”, incorporating processing the shock and leaning towards acclimatisation;
- “Regaining control”: as independence increases and as abilities return, so does hope for the future.
This study recruited 11 participants initially, and collected data through observation. In the early stages, medication affected the state of the individual and the need for patience from the health care providers was indentified. Many patients also rejected use of the wheelchair, with the notion that acceptance would mean permanent dependency.
With more time, the patient was able to process the amputation and the impact on their lives. Finally leading to a stage where they were able to reflect on their own use of will power and determination to move forward.
The three stages identified were broken down into sub categories, analysing also the healthcare providers reactions to each phase.
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What stages did you go through to adapt to a major change in your life?
> From: Madsen et al., Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being 11 (2016) 32739. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.