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PhD ceremony Mr. M. Bragaru: Sports and amputation

When:We 12-06-2013 at 12:45

PhD ceremony: Mr. M. Bragaru, 12.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Sports and amputation

Promotor(s): prof. J.H.B. Geertzen, prof. P.U. Dijkstra

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Amputation of a limb usually has a negative impact on psycho-social and physical wellbeing. If clinical data from the general population are considered, one way to decrease this negative impact may be through regular participation in sports. Unfortunately, for individuals with limb amputations less is known on the influence of sports participation. The current research aimed to identify this influence and the participation rate in sports of these individuals.

Results of a systematic review identified that individuals with limb amputations may experience the same benefits of sports as the general population. Despite this, only 15% of individuals with lower limb amputations participate in sports at least 5 hours a month, while 57% of the individuals with upper limb amputations participate in sports for at least 4 hours a month. In general poor health, smoking, an age older than 60 years, and a vascular cause of amputation are negatively associated with sports participation. The desire to stay healthy, pleasure derived from sports, and psycho-social benefits represent the main reasons to start and continue participating in sports. Meanwhile, the lack of motivation, inadequate facilities, trivialization by others, and poor health were barriers commonly mentioned by the participants in this research. Support from family, sport partners or even strangers may offer the boost needed to overcome most of the barriers experienced.

In conclusion, sports should be introduced at an early stage in the rehabilitation program of individuals with limb amputations and each individual should receive a sport advice tailored to his/hers personal barriers and desires.

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