The stigma of digital amputation: a survey of amputees with analysis of risk factors

Carrie Roth Bettlach, Ella Gibson, John M. Daines, Emma R. Payne, Linh N. Vuong, Corinne M. Merrill, Mitchell A. Pet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to quantify the stigma associated with digital amputation and examine factors associated with it. One hundred and sixty-four digital amputees completed the Neurological Quality of Life-Stigma questionnaire and a battery of Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System instruments. Multivariable analysis examined factors associated with stigma experience. The mean observed stigma score of 47 (SD 8, range 36–64) was similar to the mean value of the normal population. Younger age, a worker’s compensation claim and depression were each independently associated with a more severe experience of stigma after digital amputation. Socioeconomic variables, anatomical details and mechanism of injury were not independently associated with stigma. Digital amputation is not highly stigmatizing overall. Surgeons should consider referring at-risk patients to a mental health provider for support during the coping and adjustment process after amputation. Level of evidence: III

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery: European Volume
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Stigma
  • digital amputation
  • hand surgery
  • trauma


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