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Social Support After Lower Limb Loss

This piece defines key sources of social support after lower limb loss based on a study conducted on 20 patients with amputation from trauma.


Social support after limb loss can make or break the recovery process, studies find. (Image provided by Pixabay.)

Research has shown that social support plays a critical role in adapting to and coping with life after limb loss. This includes emotional, informational, sociable, and tangible acts of support. Interestingly enough, studies find that a patient's understanding and acceptance of support sources are more important than the level of support itself. Patients with plenty of support and little recognition are not able to benefit in the way patients with less support and higher recognition could.


In other words, if you are able to recognize support sources and are open to receiving them, you are well on your way to reaping the benefits of conceivably the most important coping mechanism. The study results show that trauma patients benefitting from social support typically recognize four special sources, ranked in order of importance to them:


  1. Supportive Family: patients with limb loss are likely to spend a lot of time with family during and after recovery. Family support was frequently mentioned as important in helping them cope, particularly the spouse, by fostering love, hope, encouragement, respect, relationships and mutual obligations in their lives.

  2. Gaining friends' support: next to (or alongside) family, support from friends garnered much attention in the survey. This bolstered their sense of belonging and their confidence in overcoming obstacles.

  3. Gaining morale from peers: participants benefitted from a peer group of individuals with similar conditions and experiences to them - a place to exchange empathy, information, solutions, comfort, encouragement, and more. This group may consist of patients adjusting to limb loss or other drastic changes.

  4. Assurance and satisfaction with the workplace: finally, the workplace receives an honorable mention among participants. The emphasis here is not on the work itself but rather the organization of the workplace and the potential for patients to feel motivated and encouraged at work.


All in all, coping with limb loss and social support go hand-in-hand. This study was conducted in hopes of helping patients understand the sources that are important and available to them.

About Writer: Pranita Muralidhar


Pranita Muralidhar is passionate about health sciences, entrepreneurship, and connecting people with products that benefit them the most. By contributing to the blog, Pranita hopes to help raise broad exposure and awareness of TheraV ELIX. 


Learn more about Pranita at pranitamuralidhar.com

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