Psychosocial adjustment to a lower limb amputation ten months after surgery.

Objective: This longitudinal multisite study examined the influence of demographic characteristics, psychological reactions, functionality, coping strategies, and social support on psychosocial adjustment to lower limb amputation 10 months after surgery. Method: Of an initial referral of 206 Portuguese patients, a sample of 86 patients who underwent a lower limb amputation due to Diabetes Mellitus Type II were evaluated during the hospitalization that preceded surgery (t0) and at inpatient follow-up consultations, 1 (t1), 6 (t2), and 10 months (t3) after surgery. Results: Higher levels of anxiety symptoms and functionality at presurgery were associated with lower social adjustment to amputation and with higher adjustment to the limitations (t3) respectively. Traumatic stress symptoms (t1) were negatively associated with general and social adjustment, and with the adjustment to the limitations (t3). Perceived social support (t2) mediated the relationship between traumatic stress symptoms (t1) and adjustment to the limitations (t3). Male gender was associated with a higher anxiety and depression symptoms (t0) and with a higher level of functionality (t1). Male gender was associated with functionality at presurgery and postsurgery, and with anxiety and depression symptoms of presurgery. Implications: Results support the need to improve psychological screening and early treatment of anxiety symptoms before the surgery, as well as depression and traumatic stress symptoms after a lower limb amputation, and the promotion of social support over time, in order to promote psychosocial adjustment to amputation. This set of psychosocial variables should be included when planning postamputation rehabilitation and psychosocial intervention programs for this target population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)