Quality of life for veterans and servicemembers with major traumatic limb loss from vietnam and OIF/OEF conflicts

Richard A. Epstein, Allen W. Heinemann, Lynne V. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goals of rehabilitation after major limb loss include not only functional restoration but also a return to a high quality of life (QOL). Few studies have identified which factors are associated with QOL in veterans and servicemembers with combat-associated major limb loss. We enrolled Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans and servicemembers in a national survey on prosthetic device use. In the Vietnam group, multivariate analysis found multiple limb loss (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.57-6.02) and satisfaction with current prostheses (aOR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.05-1.38) are associated with better overall QOL, while a higher amputation impact rank (aOR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.59-0.74) and depression (aOR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.08-0.54) are associated with worse overall QOL. In the OIF/OEF group, three factors are significantly associated with worse overall QOL: combat-associated head injury (aOR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.61-0.99), combat-associated injury to the nonamputated limb (aOR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.57-0.88), and assistance needed in daily living (aOR = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.02-0.72). Improving satisfaction with prosthetic devices, improving mental health care, and treating other combat-associated injuries may significantly improve the overall QOL for these veterans and servicemembers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-386
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of rehabilitation research and development
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Amputation
  • Combat injuries
  • Limb loss
  • Mental health
  • OIF/OEF
  • Prostheses
  • Quality of life
  • Servicemembers
  • Veterans
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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