Factors influencing quality of life following lower limb amputation for peripheral arterial occlusive disease: a systematic review of the literature

Fiona Davie-Smith, Elaine Coulter, Brian Kennon, Sally Wyke, Lorna Paul

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The majority of lower limb amputations are undertaken in people with peripheral arterial occlusive disease, and approximately 50% have diabetes. Quality of life is an important outcome in lower limb amputations; little is known about what influences it, and therefore how to improve it.
The aim of this systematic review was to identify the factors that influence quality of life after lower limb amputation for peripheral arterial occlusive disease.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Cochrane databases were searched to identify articles that quantitatively measured quality of life in those with a lower limb amputation for peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Articles were quality assessed by two assessors, evidence tables summarised each article and a narrative synthesis was performed.
Study design:
Systematic review.
Twelve articles were included. Study designs and outcome measures used varied. Quality assessment scores ranged from 36% to 92%. The ability to walk successfully with a prosthesis had the greatest positive impact on quality of life. A trans-femoral amputation was negatively associated with quality of life due to increased difficulty in walking with a prosthesis. Other factors such as older age, being male, longer time since amputation, level of social support and presence of diabetes also negatively affected quality of life.
Being able to walk with a prosthesis is of primary importance to improve quality of life for people with lower limb amputation due to peripheral arterial occlusive disease. To further understand and improve the quality of life of this population, there is a need for more prospective longitudinal studies, with a standardised outcome measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-547
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number6
Early online date2 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017



  • lower-limb amputation; quality of life; prosthesis; walking; trans-femoral amputation; trans-tibial amputation; peripheral arterial occlusive disease

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