Self-Management Improves Outcomes in Persons With Limb Loss

Stephen T. Wegener, Ellen J. Mackenzie, Patti Ephraim, Dawn Ehde, Rhonda Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Wegener ST, Mackenzie EJ, Ephraim P, Ehde D, Williams R. Self-management improves outcomes in persons with limb loss. Objective: To test the acceptance and effectiveness of a community-based self-management (SM) intervention designed to improve outcomes after limb loss. A priori hypothesis was that an SM intervention will be more effective than standard support group activities in improving outcomes. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: General community. Participants: Intervention (N=287) and control participants (N=235) with major limb loss. Intervention(s): Nine, 90-minute SM group sessions delivered by trained volunteer leaders. Retention rates at immediate postintervention and 6-month follow-up were 97% and 91% for the SM group. Main Outcome Measure(s): Primary outcomes were depression, positive mood, and self-efficacy. Secondary outcomes were improved functional status and quality of life. Results: By using intent-to-treat analyses, the odds for being depressed are significantly lower for those in SM group, 50% less likely at treatment completion (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.3-0.9) and 40% less likely at the 6-month follow-up (95% CI=.03-1.1). Treatment completers have a 70% reduction in likelihood of being depressed at posttreatment (P<.01) and this persists at six months (P<.05). For those in the SM group, functional limitations were significantly lower at 6 months (P<.05), and general self-efficacy was significantly higher at immediate posttreatment (P<.05) and at 6 months (P<.05). Treatment completers have generally significantly larger effect sizes at all follow-up points. Pain intensity, self-efficacy for pain control, and quality of life were not significantly different between the groups. Subgroup analyses indicated the impact of the intervention was greater for participants who were less than 3 years postamputation, participants who were less than 65 years of age, or participants who showed at least 1 secondary condition at baseline. Conclusions: The study provides evidence that SM interventions can improve the outcomes of persons with limb loss beyond benefits offered by support groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Amputation
  • Depression
  • Rehabilitation
  • Self-care
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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