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Examining the effects of acquired limb loss on the family network: a grounded theory study

Mitchell, Sophie and Andrews, Leanne and Engward, Hilary (2022) 'Examining the effects of acquired limb loss on the family network: a grounded theory study.' Disability and Rehabilitation, 44 (5). pp. 745-753. ISSN 0963-8288

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Abstract

Background: Individuals with acquired limb loss are faced with various challenges. Family networks become important in facilitating coping and recovery, but the limited research into their own experiences has so far only examined spousal and parental carers. Aims: This research aimed to: understand the experiences of acquired limb loss from the perspective of the family network; and to develop a theoretical model to explain how they experience limb loss of the other. The use of ‘network’ was adopted to include kin self-identified as family. Method: Participants (n = 14) were recruited nationally. Interviews were conducted in a process moving from unstructured, semi-structured and structured interviews, using Grounded Theory method. Findings: A theoretical model was developed around the interaction of five core categories. Families witness the difficulties faced by the person with limb loss, leading to a responsibility to provide support. Families subsequently experience various challenges of limb loss; together with numerous emotional reactions. Various forms of coping are used in order to resolve these experiences. Conclusions: Families are involved in the processes and challenges of an amputation in another family member, regardless of aetiology, gender or relationship structure. The theoretical model can be understood through the integration of existing research. The issues identified indicate potential considerations for services supporting such families.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION The challenges and emotions experienced by family members have potential consequences for the support offered to the person with limb loss. This could ultimately influence the physical and psychological rehabilitation of the person with limb loss. Services should support families in witnessing difficulties in the person with limb loss, adjusting to relational changes and managing health care systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Limb loss; amputation; family; kinship; grounded theory; witnessing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 11:26
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 16:20
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23026

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