Effects of paediatric limb loss on healthcare utilisation, schooling and parental labour supply

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Shrewsbury, MA, USA.
Disability and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.99). 05/2010; 32(24):2046-55. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2010.481028
Source: PubMed


To explore the impact of childhood limb loss on families in terms of healthcare utilisation, schooling and parental labour supply.
Data were obtained from a cross-sectional, retrospective pilot survey of 123 parents or caregivers of children with limb loss selected randomly after stratification by aetiology (i.e. trauma, malignancy and congenital limb deficiency) from among eligible families identified by the Amputee Coalition of America. Healthcare utilisation, school (child) and labour market (parents) participation were examined.
Children with limb loss use health services frequently and miss school for limb loss-related concerns. Over half of all parents adjusted their work participation in response to their child's limb loss. The use of prostheses may increase direct and indirect costs of limb loss. Children with acquired limb loss (amputation following trauma or cancer) were more likely than those with a congenital limb deficiency to use a prosthesis.
Our data suggest that the impact of limb loss on families of affected children may include substantial costs, particularly when school and work effects are taken into account. Further research is needed to identify the full household- and societal-level costs of childhood limb loss and suggest interventions to reduce the burden experienced by families.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To describe the current life situation of adults with congenital limb reduction deficiencies (CLRD), living in Sweden, regarding their main daily occupation, leisure activities and self-reported general health. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a study-specific questionnaire, sent by post. Hundred and seventeen persons with different extent, forms and levels of CLRD (mean age 33 years) responded to the questionnaire. Results: Work or study was the main occupation for 86% of the participants and 50% had completed a college or university education. About 7% were unemployed and 3% were on sick leave. The participants were highly involved in social and physical activities during leisure time. The majority reported good or very good general health. Conclusion: This study is the first investigation of the life situation of adults with CLRD described with a perspective from Swedish society. The participants were educated and worked to a great extent, which corresponds well to the Swedish population as a whole. Further research is needed, especially with a focus on the internal perspective of life situation, different aspects of work capacity, occurences of strain injuries and the benefit of assistive devices among adults with CLRD.
    Disability and Rehabilitation 11/2013; 36(18). DOI:10.3109/09638288.2013.854839 · 1.99 Impact Factor

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