Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 6, 2014
   Pages 895 — 906

Abstract — Physical activity barriers and enablers in older Veterans with lower-limb amputation

Alyson J. Littman, PhD;1–2* Edward J. Boyko, MD;1 Mary Lou Thompson, PhD;1,3 Jodie K. Haselkorn, MD;2,4 Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD;5 David E. Arterburn, MD6

1Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; Departments of 2Epidemiology and 3Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 4Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence West, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; and Department of Rehabilitation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 5Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA; and Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA; 6Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA

Abstract — Little is known about the types of physical activities that older individuals with lower-limb loss perform, correlates of regular physical activity (PA), and barriers and facilitators to PA. We conducted an exploratory study in 158 older Veterans from the Pacific Northwest with a partial foot (35%), below-knee (39%), and above-knee (26%) amputation. Ninety-eight percent of survey respondents were male, on average 65 yr of age and 15 yr postamputation; 36% of amputations were trauma-related. The most commonly reported physical activities were walking/wheeling (65%), muscle strengthening (42%), exercise prescribed by a physical or occupational therapist (32%), and gardening (31%). Forty-three percent were classified as physically active based on weekly moderate- and vigorous-intensity PA. History of vigorous preamputation PA was positively associated with being active, while low wealth and watching 5 h/d or more of television/videos were inversely associated. While pain- and resource-related barriers to PA were most frequently reported, only knowledge-related and interest/motivation-related barriers were inversely associated with being active. Family support and financial assistance to join a gym were the most commonly reported factors that would facilitate PA. To increase PA in the older amputee population, interventions should address motivational issues, knowledge gaps, and television watching; reduce financial barriers to exercising; and consider involving family members.

Key words: activity scale, amputee intervention, barriers, exercise, facilitators, lower-limb amputation, partial foot amputation, physical activity, trauma-related amputation, Veterans.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.6

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Littman AJ, Boyko EJ, Thompson ML, Haselkorn JK, Sangeorzan BJ, Arterburn DE. Physical activity barriers and enablers in older Veterans with lower-limb amputation. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(6):895–906.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.06.0152
ResearcherID/ORCID: Alyson J. Littman, PhD: A-6409-2012
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