Amputation, psychological consequences, and quality of life among Romanian patients

Alin Cristinel Cotigă 1 , 2 , Mirela Zivari 1 , Adrian Cursaru 3 , 5 , Cătălin Aliuş 4 , and Claudiu Ivan 6
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2 Department of Psychology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
  • 3 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
  • 4 Department of General Surgery, University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
  • 5 “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, , Bucharest, Romania
  • 6 Research Centre for Education and Life Chances, , Bucharest, Romania


Amputation of the limb is a major psychological health issue that was not fully studied. Patients and their families struggle with symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, phantom limb phenomena, etc. There is also a tremendous impact on the person’s quality of life.

Aim: This study aimed to assess the psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and the quality of life among persons suffering from amputation of the limb.

Methods: 31 respondents agreed to participate in the study. They were recruited from the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania. The medical conditions and the socio-demographic data (i.e., gender, marital status, income, etc.) along with the assessment of the psychological conditions and quality of life were contributions to the statistical analysis of the study.

Results: This study showed that levels of depression are moderate to severe for a significant percent of the population (i.e., a “moderate to severe” or “severe” level of depression was presented by 29% of the patients according to the PHQ-9 test, and 16.1% of the patients according to Beck’s Depression Inventory). Moreover, the levels of anxiety were relatively higher than those of the general population (i.e., severe anxiety was confirmed by the GAD-7 test in the case of 38.7% of the patients) and for most of them the quality of life was impaired.

Discussion: Amputation occurs mainly in adults/elderly aged over 50 years, married, living in urban areas, with different levels of depression and anxiety. At least half of them had a self-perceived health condition that was deteriorated, their physical and role functioning being primarily affected.

Conclusion: There is a need for psychological support of the patients suffering from limb amputation as most of the studies showed high prevalence of depression and anxiety. Socio-demographic factors also represent important elements in defining the quality of life of those patients.

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