Psychological Reactions to Amputation in a Sample of Nigerian Amputees
The study compares psychological symptoms between amputees and other orthopedic patients. Forty-two consecutive amputees were interviewed between 7 and 28 days after amputation, and an equal number of other orthopedic patients matched for age, sex, marital status, and occupation were used as controls. Each respondent completed a socio-demographic questionnaire while clinical variables were obtained from the case notes. Respondents also completed the General health Questionnaire, State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Inventory. The mean age of amputees in this study was 42.33 years (s.d. 15.89 years), and the average weekly income is N3500.00 ($29.00). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were high among amputees (64.3% and 59.5% respectively) compared to other orthopedic patients (14.3% and 12.0% respectively). Correlation analysis showed that there was significant correlation between anxiety and age (negative), marital status, and level of education, while depressive symptoms significantly correlated significantly with age (negative) and marital status. Psychological symptoms are high in this sample of amputees, indicating the importance of social and emotional support for these patients.