Experience with Limb Trauma: A Thematic Analysis




Background: Today, trauma is considered as a major cause of temporary or permanent disabilities for millions of people. Any loss of ability has considerable effects on the quality of life. One of the most important causes of disability is limb trauma. However, the quality of life with limb trauma is relatively unexplored. Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the quality of life following limb trauma. Methods: In this qualitative study a thematic analysis and purposive sample method was used to recruit 11 patients with a disability in the upper or lower limbs and a history of hospitalization caused by a traffic accident 6 months to 2 years earlier. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews continued until reaching saturation. The data analysis approach in this study was thematic analysis, which consists of a vigorous process of data familiarization, data coding, and theme development and revision. The trustworthiness of the results was ensured through constant comparisons, triangulation, member checks, and peer review. Results: Based on the participants’ experiences, three themes were conceptualized: existing with limitations, empowerment approaches in encountering disabilities, and seeking support. Conclusions: The experience of living with limb disability was a limiting experience, and other person’s activities and relations could aid participants in achieving empowerment through strengthening and seeking compensatory mechanisms. More attention to the problems of patients, and more research is recommended.