Desmond, Deirdre and MacLachlan, Malcolm
Coping strategies as predictors of psychosocial adaptation in a sample of elderly veterans with acquired lower limb amputations.
Social Science and Medicine, 62.
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 26â92 years with lower limb amputations were
assessed. Hierarchical linear regressions were performed to investigate relationships between demographic/amputationrelated
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
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