Quality of Relationships With Caregivers, Depression, and Life Satisfaction After Dysvascular Lower Extremity Amputation

Published:October 05, 2017DOI:



      To describe the relationship between caregiver-specific support and conflict, and psychosocial outcomes among individuals experiencing their first dysvascular lower extremity amputation (LEA).


      Cross-sectional cohort study using self-report surveys.


      Department of Veterans Affairs, academic medical center, and level I trauma center.


      Individuals undergoing their first major LEA because of complications of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or diabetes who have a caregiver and completed measures of caregiver support and conflict (N=137; 94.9% men).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to assess depression and the Satisfaction With Life Scale to assess life satisfaction.


      In multiple regression analyses, controlling for global levels of perceived support, self-rated health, age, and mobility, caregiver-specific support was found to be associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and caregiver-specific conflict was found to be associated with lower levels of life satisfaction and higher levels of depressive symptoms.


      The specific relationship between individuals with limb loss and their caregivers may be an important determinant of well-being. Conflict with caregivers, which has received little attention thus far in the limb loss literature, appears to play a particularly important role. Individuals with limb loss may benefit from interventions with their caregivers that both enhance support and reduce conflict.


      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), MSSS (Modified Social Support Survey), PAD (peripheral arterial disease), QRI (Quality of Relationship Inventory), SRH (self-rated health), SWLS (Satisfaction With Life Scale)
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