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Ind Psychiatry J. 2016 Jan-Jun;25(1):4-10. doi: 10.4103/0972-6748.196041.

Psychological effects of amputation: A review of studies from India.

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Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Amputation is a major health burden on the families, society, and on medical services as well. Traumatic limb amputation is a catastrophic injury and an irreversible act which is sudden and emotionally devastating for the victims. In addition, it causes inability to support self and the family and driving many patients toward various psychiatric disorders. Extensive information regarding the effects of amputation has not been ascertained and therefore it was decided to do a systematic review. The goal of this review was to provide comprehensive information of peer-reviewed papers examining the psychological distress among amputees in India. A search of the literature resulted in a total of 12 articles with varied sample size from 16 to 190. The sample has been largely comprised males with lower limb amputation caused by primarily traumatic ones, i.e., motor vehicle accident, railway track accidents, machinery injury, blasts, etc., The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among amputees has been found to be in the range of 32% to 84% including depression rates 10.4%-63%, posttraumatic stress disorder 3.3%-56.3%, and phantom limb phenomenon 14%-92%. Although the studies reported that symptoms of anxiety and depression become better over the course of time, however surgical treatment providers need to liaise with psychiatrists and psychologists to support and deal with the psychological disturbances.


Amputation; depression; phantom limb phenomenon; posttraumatic stress disorder

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