Objective: To determine the QOL and functional independence of lower limb diabetic amputees one to three years post amputation, using variables such as age, gender and amputation level.
Method: A total of 87 participants were selected from the 2006–2009 physiotherapy records at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital. These participants completed the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale (WHO QOL-BREF) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Data were analysed using SPSS (version 12) and the mean values for QOL and functional independence were calculated. Relationships between the variables: age, gender and level of amputation with QOL and functional independence were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques.
Results: Among the 35 males and 52 females participating in the study, below knee amputees recorded higher scores for QOL (p < 0.05) and functional independence (p < 0.0001) compared to the above knee amputees. The result also showed that females had a significantly higher average score than males among the four domains for QOL. Similar results were obtained from the FIM where women again had significantly higher scores than males (p < 0.0001). The majority of females across the age groups reported average to high QOL (p < 0.0001) compared to the males. A positive correlation (r = 0.5999, p < 0.0001) was found between functional independence and quality of life of all participants.
Conclusion: The results showed that below knee amputees functioned better than those with above knee amputations and that females were more likely to cope and function with the disability than males.