Physical Therapy Publications

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Disability and Rehabilitation

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PURPOSE: Lower limb loss can result in an altered body image, leading to changes in self-esteem, mental health and quality of life. This scoping review explored how body image has been evaluated among people with lower limb loss.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five databases (Embase, Medline, PsychINFO, CINHAL, and Nursing and Allied Health Database) were searched from inception until March 19, 2023. Inclusion criteria: 1) people with lower limb loss; 2) evaluated a body image outcome or theme; and 3) a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods design.

RESULTS: Twenty-four quantitative (n = 19 cross-sectional, n = 3 intervention cohort and n = 2 prospective cohort), 2 qualitative and 1 mixed methods design studies were included. The definition of body image varied across studies, with 59% of studies not reporting a conceptual or theoretical definition. People with lower limb loss perceived a more negative body image compared to control groups. In prospective cohort studies, changes in body image over time were inconclusive.

CONCLUSION: People with lower limb loss report a negative body image when compared to other populations. Definitions and understanding of body image changed overtime and varied among studies which may impact introducing interventions to promote positive body image during rehabilitation and beyond in this population.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Disability and Rehabilitation on 2024-04-02, available online:

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Wednesday, April 02, 2025