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Characterising phantom limb phenomena in upper limb amputees

Fraser, C. M., Halligan, Peter, Robertson, I. H. and Kirker, S. G. B. 2001. Characterising phantom limb phenomena in upper limb amputees. Prosthetics and Orthotics International 25 (3) , pp. 235-242. 10.1080/03093640108726607

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A systematic descriptive survey was carried out on a clinic population with acquired upper limb amputation in which clear distinctions were made between phantom experiences, pre‐amputation pain and stump pain. It was found that of 76 participants 96% reported phantom experiences and 84% were currently experiencing phantom limb phenomena (PLP). Sixty‐nine percent (69%) of those currently experiencing phantom phenomena stated that the phantoms were painful. Significant relationships were found between frequency of phantom experiences and side and level of amputation. In addition, the presence of ‘trigger’ points reported by a sub group of participants was found to be associated with the frequency of phantoms and painful phantoms. This finding could provide support for cortical reorganisation post amputation. It is suggested that detailed individual ‘profiling’ of phantom experiences is important and would have the following implications: it would contribute to existing knowledge and provide new insights into the central nervous system's reorganisation post‐amputation; it would provide an accurate way of representing amputees’ anomalous perceptions; it would alert health professionals to the presence, variety and extent of PLP following amputation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 0309-3646
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:14

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