The influence of socio-economic deprivation on mobility, participation and quality of life following major lower extremity amputation in the West of Scotland

Fiona Davie-Smith, Lorna Paul, Wesley Stuart, Brian Kennon, Robin Young, Sally Wyke

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Lower extremity amputation (LEA) is more common in people from lower socio-economic groups. This study examined this further by investigating the influence of socio-economic status on mobility, participation, and quality of life (QoL) after LEA.

Prospective data were gathered for all LEAs performed in one year in one Scottish Health Board, commencing March 2014. A postcode derived Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) was applied by quintile (SIMD 1 = most deprived). Routine data were collected on the cohort of 171 patients; 101 participants consented and received postal questionnaires on QoL (EQ-5D-5L), participation (Reintegration to Normal Living Index [RNLI]), and mobility (Prosthetic Limb User Survey of Mobility), six (n = 67) and 12 months (n = 50) after LEA.

The mean ± SD age of the cohort was 66.2 ± 11.4 years; 75% were male and 53% had diabetes. In total, 67% lived in SIMD 1 and 2 and 11.1% in SIMD 5. Sixty per cent had a transtibial amputation. Mortality was 6% at 30 days 17% at six, and 29% at 12 months. Those in SIMD 1 were significantly younger (62.9 years) than those in SIMD 5 (76.3 years). Significantly more participants with a transfemoral amputation (TFA) lived in SIMD 1 (44%) compared with SIMD 5 (11%) (p = .004). Participation was low (RNLI scores: 6 months = 55.7; 12 months = 56.6) and PLUS M scores suggested mobility was poor overall at six (39.1) and 12 months (38.9). Mean QoL was 0.37 at 6 months and 0.33 at 12 months.

Although this study observed more LEAs in those from low socio-economic areas, it is impossible to conclude whether QoL after LEA is truly influenced by socio-economic status. There was an association between the disproportionately high rate of LEAs in SIMD groups 1 and 2 and the high prevalence of smoking, 61% vs. only 21% of those in the least deprived areas (SIMD 3, 4, and 5) being current smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-560
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date21 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019



  • quality of life
  • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
  • lower extremity amputation

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