Being Like Everybody Else: The Personal Meanings of Being a Prosthesis UserBy Murray, Craig D.; Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 31, No. 7, pp. 573-581
Publication Date: 2009
Study undertaken to gain an understanding of the lived experience of prosthesis use for amputees and people with congenital limb deficiency. Participants were 16 male and 19 female prosthesis users ranging in age from 16 to 75 years. Of the 35 participants, 24 had lower-limb loss, 3 had upper-limb loss, and 8 participants had congenital limb absence, of which 4 were of the lower limb. Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 14 participants and documentary analysis of two e-mail discussion groups for prosthesis users. The data were then analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), selected because of its emphasis both on the life worlds of participants and on how meaning occurs and is made sense of in social interaction. Three recurrent themes emerged: (1) Dreams and Realities: Enabling Prostheses; (2) Being Like Everybody Else: The Meanings of Cosmesis; and (3) Passing, Telling and Getting Away With It: Disguising Prosthesis Use. Participants argued that prostheses have a number of deeply personal meanings, which revolve around what people can practically achieve with a prosthetic limb and how they manage personal information and identity.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )