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Environmental barriers experienced by amputees: the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors-Short Form.

Ephraim PL, MacKenzie EJ, Wegener ST, Dillingham TR, Pezzin LE. Environmental barriers experienced by amputees: the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors-Short Form. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2006 Mar 1; 87(3):328-33.

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OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of perceived environmental barriers in a population of amputees; to compare and contrast those barriers reported by amputees with reported barriers of a sample of disabled and nondisabled persons; and to identify the correlates of barriers among amputees. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: A community sample who were interviewed by telephone. PARTICIPANTS: A stratified sample by etiology of 914 community-dwelling persons with limb loss. INTERVENTION: Telephone interview. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Frequency (never, less than monthly, monthly, weekly, daily) and magnitude (little problem, big problem) of perceived environmental barriers in 5 domains as measured by the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors-Short Form (CHIEF-SF), characteristics of the amputation, prosthetic use, and sociodemographic characteristics of the amputee. RESULTS: The majority (87%) of persons surveyed reported barriers in 1 or more areas with 57% reporting barriers in 4 or more of the 5 domains (policies, physical/structural, work/school, attitudes/support, and services/assistance subscales). Mean frequency-magnitude scores were lower for amputees with cancer-related amputation across all subscales, while traumatic amputees reported the greatest perceived barriers, except in the area of services/assistance. Across all domains, poverty level and comorbidity were significant predictors of significant barriers (CHIEF-SF score > / = 3; range, 0-8). When compared with a general population sample of disabled and nondisabled Americans, amputees were more likely to perceive barrier in all areas except work/school. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived environmental barriers among persons with limb loss are highly prevalent. Reduction of environmental barriers may lead to reduction of disability and improvement of overall quality of life for amputees.

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