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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

DIOGO, Maria José D'Elboux. Satisfaction with life overall and with specific life domains among elderly persons with a lower limb amputation. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.13, n.6, pp. 395-399. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892003000500008.

OBJECTIVE: To examine a group of elderly persons who had had a lower limb amputation and who were receiving care at the outpatient clinic of a teaching hospital in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, in order to: 1) identify relationships between their perceived overall life satisfaction and their functional capacity; 2) assess their perceived satisfaction with the domains of health, physical functioning/dependence, mental health, and social integration/involvement; and 3) identify relationships between overall life satisfaction and satisfaction with the specific domains. METHODS: An assessment was done of a group of 40 elderly persons (30 men and 10 women) who had had an amputation above the malleolus at least 1 year earlier and who were undergoing rehabilitation between June 1994 and June 1999. Their mean age was 74.5 years (range, 60 to 79 years). A questionnaire was used for data collection to assess: 1) functional capacity (Barthel index); 2) general life satisfaction (Cantrill model); and 3) satisfaction with the domains of health, physical functioning/ dependence, mental health, and social integration/involvement, with the 40 elderly persons assessing themselves both in individual terms and in comparison to other persons of the same age group. RESULTS: Among the 40 elderly persons, the level of general life satisfaction was high. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10, the mean was 7.1 and the median 7.5, with a standard deviation of 2.73. There was no correlation between overall life satisfaction and functional capacity. There was no significant difference between individual perceived satisfaction with the specific domains and the perception of these domains in comparison to other persons of the same age group; in both of these cases, the elderly persons who had had an amputation reported a high degree of satisfaction. A positive correlation was found only between overall life satisfaction and the domains of health (individual and comparative) and of physical functioning (comparative). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that this group of elderly persons who had had an amputation tended to assess their situation positively. This finding provides new insights into the rehabilitation of elderly persons with lower limb amputations. Taken together with the dearth of studies concerning the subject, this finding also indicates the need for additional research focusing on the subjective well-being of the elderly.

Keywords : Reabilitação; idoso; amputação; qualidade de vida.

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