Szu-Ping Lee (Physical Therapy), Lung-Chang Chien (Environmental and Occupational Health) and former UNLV student co-authors recently published an article, "Financial difficulty in community-dwelling persons with lower limb loss is associated with reduced self-perceived health and well-being” in the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
The study interviewed 90 participants with limb loss and found the experience of financial difficulty negatively impacted physical and emotional aspects of their well-being, while their pain or physical disability was not significantly different to others with better financial means. One key finding is that people who struggle financially after an amputation tend to also have trouble fulfilling their family and career roles, leading to a vicious cycle of financial hardship.
The authors conclude that focusing post-amputation rehabilitation solely on physical functions or pain may be missing the bigger picture of recovery after amputation. The authors recommend clinicians recognize that overall health and well-being for a person with limb loss may be impacted by social determinants of health including their financial picture and access to health care services. As vascular diseases such as diabetes becomes more common with the aging population, the need for high quality post-amputation care is expected to increase in the next 30 years.