Content » Vol 47, Issue 5

Original report

Physical function, pain, quality of life and life satisfaction of amputees from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake: A prospective cohort study

Ling Li, Jan D. Reinhardt, Xia Zhang, Andrew Pennycott, Zhengen Zhao, Xianmen Zeng, Jianan Li
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1951


Objectives: To examine the development and determinants of long-term outcomes for earthquake victims with amputations, including physical function, pain, quality of life and life satisfaction.
Design: Prospective cohort study with 2–3 measurement points.
Subjects: A total of 72 people who underwent amputations following the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and resided in Mianzhu County, Sichuan Province, China were enrolled in the study. Of these, 27 people were lost to follow-up.
Methods: Data on pain (visual analogue scale) and physical function (Barthel Index) were collected at 3 measurement points (2009, 2010 and 2012), and data on quality of life (Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36) and life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction Questionnaire-11) were collected at 2 measurement points (2010 and 2012). Data were analysed with mixed effects regression.
Results: Pain severity declined significantly and physical function increased by 2012. Quality of life and life satisfaction remained relatively stable between 2010 and 2012, while quality of life was significantly lower than reference values from the general population. Illiteracy and lower extremity amputations were associated with lower quality of life and life satisfaction in several domains.
Conclusion: While amputees’ functioning and pain were improved over time, quality of life and life satisfaction did not change. Illiterate earthquake survivors and those with lower extremity amputations are at particular risk of low quality of life and life satisfaction, and may require additional attention in future earthquake rehabilitation programs.

Lay Abstract


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