Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Elizabeth Tinnon

Advisor Department



There is a lack of history regarding appearance-related concerns in healthcare. There are roughly two million people living with limb loss in the United States with nearly 185,000 amputations occurring each year. Alterations in body image are due to individuals being unable to adapt to appearance change and can take them far from their ideal body image. It has previously been discovered that amputees generally disclose negative feelings regarding their bodies.

The sample included 207 adults aged 21 years and older with lower-limb amputations. The participants completed a survey composed of demographics and the Amputee Body Image Scale. Statistical analysis was computed using a one-way ANOVA. Participants with two lower limb amputations versus one lower limb amputation experienced lower body image [F (1, 205) = 4.150, p = 0.043]. A significant difference existed in length of time since loss of limb. Participants were more dissatisfied with their body image six to ten years after amputation as opposed to other time frames [F (4, 202) = 4.316, p = 0.002]. Among people who reported losing their limb, there was a statistically significant relationship between vascular and other causes [F (5, 194) = 2.86, p = 0.016].

Amputees need emotional support. It is crucial that nurses encourage patients to confront their injuries and expose disfigurements because this can have a positive effect when helping patients adjust. The findings confirm that patients undergoing amputation experience psychological distress related to altered body image.

Included in

Nursing Commons