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Soc Sci Med. 2006 Jan;62(1):208-16. Epub 2005 Jun 28.

Coping strategies as predictors of psychosocial adaptation in a sample of elderly veterans with acquired lower limb amputations.

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Dublin Psychoprosthetics Group, Department of Psychology, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


This study examines the contribution of demographic/amputation-related variables and coping strategies to the prediction of psychosocial adaptation in veterans with acquired lower limb amputations. Multiple indicators of the psychosocial adjustment of 796 individuals in the UK aged between 26-92 years with lower limb amputations were assessed. Hierarchical linear regressions were performed to investigate relationships between demographic/amputation-related variables (i.e. age, time since amputation, amputation level and amputation aetiology), the dimensions of coping (namely problem solving, seeking social support and avoidance) and self-reported adaptation to amputation, as well as symptoms of intrusion, anxiety and depression. Results indicated that coping styles were important predictors of psychosocial adaptation. Avoidance was strongly associated with psychological distress and poor adjustment. In contrast, problem solving was negatively associated with depressive and anxious symptomatology whereas seeking social support was negatively associated with symptoms of depression and positively associated with social adaptation. These findings suggest the potential for interventions designed to promote particular coping strategies to improve psychosocial outcomes.

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