ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joanna Paul (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Chronic pain after lower extremity amputation surgery has been reported in up to 80% of patients. Amputations , which are among the most debilitating chronic complication of diabetes have a variety of consequences including increased depression , inability to perform daily activities , and perceived inability to reintegrate into society. This study sought to understand the lived experience of chronic pain among those who have undergone a diabetes-related lower limb amputation. Researchers used a qualitative empirical phenomenology design. Private , semi-structured interviews were conducted on a purposive sample (N = 11). Participants were primarily male (56%) with a mean age of 60.8 years (SD = +15.4). Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Transcribed interviews were read and re-read by each researcher separately and then compared to enhance credibility. Codes were identified for each participant separately and then across participants for common themes. Three major themes are highlighted by this research: 1) phantom pain is distinct from real amputation pain 2) sympathetic but not empathetic and 3) identification of a new normal. The first theme revealed that the amputee was hesitant to speak to others about their pain. Participants gravitated toward non-pharmacological treatments and discussed the need for alternatives. The second theme uncovered that family members had the desire to help but could not due to lack of understanding or knowing the experience of the amputee. Finally , identifying a new normal included the amputation being a choice and spirituality assisting with adjustment. This research has implications for how chronic neuropathic or phantom pain is managed among persons with amputations. More research is needed in identifying and teaching amputees alternative pain treatment beyond pharmacologic methods. This is especially important since amputees may be hesitant in discussing their pain with their healthcare provider and family if they feel the only solution is medication.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Amputation, Chronic pain, Diabetes

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
PAIN SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND PROVIDERS IN THE DIABETIC AMPUTEE: A LIVED EXPERIENCE described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.