The Use and Non-Use of a Prosthetic Device after an Amputation: An IPA Exploration.
(2017) The Use and Non-Use of a Prosthetic Device after an Amputation: An IPA Exploration., no. 49.
Purpose: The usage and personal meanings of a prosthetic device have been previously studied using both qualitative and quantitative measures. This current study aims to create an understanding of the use and non-use of a prosthetic device after an amputation using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Method: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted and were subject to IPA. The usage of telephone interviews was used to reach wider demographic coverage. The advantage of this is the anonymity participants received when taking part and can give more cross-culturally valid results in large studies. IPA allows the discussion and analysis of an individual's unique situation to be explored. The use of IPA also allows both general and in depth explorations to occur. Participants: Extracts that are included within the results section are taken from three participants, all with lower limb amputations. All participants were male and were recruited through a charity in Liverpool. All three amputations varied: one participant had a hip disarticulation, one had a right transtibial amputation and the final participant had a transtibial amputation on both legs. Results: Findings within this research shed light on the personal meanings of undergoing an amputation and recovery from this. Three superordinate themes were identified: (1) The prosthetic device: Enhancement or hindrance? (2) Communication and (3) Social support. The findings concerning the enhancement or hindrance of a prosthetic device allowed the participants to discuss this active choice they made on whether or not they used their prosthetic device. The findings surrounding communication showed how the participants perceived their pre and post amputation communication to be lacking. Participants often had to seek help elsewhere and this related to the final finding of support networks. These support networks allowed participants to discuss their experiences and is formed due to a combination of the initial two themes. Collectively, these findings allow an understanding of the choice made by each individual on whether or not they choose to wear a prosthetic device.