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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the appearance of a prosthesis on social behaviour, social discomfort and psychological well-being in eleven amputees taking delivery of a prosthesis with a silicone cover. Two new scales were developed: the 'Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (EEARB); and the 'Discomfort-Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (Discomfort-EEARB) scales. The psychometric properties of these scales were determined using a sample of 101 able-bodied adults. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were also used to measure psychological well-being in the amputee sample. The EEARB and Discomfort-EEARB proved to have good reliability and validity. Comparison of amputees' scores prior to receiving the silicone cosmesis with those of the able-bodied adults revealed significant behavioural limitations and social discomfort, associated with low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. There was a significant increase in amputees' scores three months after taking delivery of their prosthesis, indicating that amputees reported engaging in more activities which involved revealing their body, and that they would feel more comfortable in situations which involved revealing the body. As the amputee sample available was small and self-selected, it is not possible to generalise these findings to the amputee population as a whole. However, since there is little previous research investigating the effects of the appearance of the prosthesis, these findings demonstrate the need for further research in this area.

Original publication




Journal article


Prosthetics and Orthotics International

Publication Date





15 - 22