A prospective study of the role of hope in predicting adjustment in new lower limb amputees

Unwin, Jennifer


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© 2008 Jennifer Unwin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The amputation of a lower limb represents a significant physical, practical and emotional challenge for the amputee, their family and services aiming to assist them. Previous research has indicated that psychosocial variables such as satisfaction with social support and active coping may be of importance in facilitating adjustment to amputation. However, studies published to date have been almost exclusively cross sectional and have framed adjustment in negative terms (e.g., the absence of depression). The current study aims to build on previous research by examining prospectively demographic, amputation-related and psychosocial variables. Adjustment is conceptualized as subjective and is positively framed. Furthermore, the role of hope, a cognitive model from the field of positive psychology, is examined for its unique contribution to adjustment over other variables. Ninety-nine lower limb amputees were recruited and completed measures of social support, active coping and hope at the beginning of rehabilitation. At six-month follow up participants completed measures of positive affect and subjective adjustment. Analyses of the data confirm the importance of psychosocial variables in predicting adjustment to lower limb amputation. Social support, active coping and hope were all significantly correlated with outcome. Hope made a unique contribution to the prediction of positive mood in lower limb amputees. Conclusions are drawn concerning the clinical implications of the findings and suggestions made for future research.

Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
Clarke, Chris
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