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An exploration of the experiences of wound healing in military traumatic amputees and its impact on their rehabilitation
  1. Phyllis K Neal
  1. Correspondence to Sister Phyllis Neal, Department of Nursing, DMRC-Headley Court, Headley Road, Epsom, Surrey KT18 6JW, UK; Phyllis.neal311{at}


The aim of this study was to establish the effect that wounds had on the rehabilitation of traumatic amputees from the military patients’ perspective. In particular it established which aspects of wound healing had the greatest impact in relation to living with a wound and the effect that military cohesion had on their recovery. The study was undertaken within the interpretivistic paradigm and followed an ethnographic design using semi-structured interviews. It contributes to the theoretical understanding of rehabilitation of the combat injured as no other study has been undertaken in this area in the UK. It captured the responses of this unique group as they reach the end of their journey through rehabilitation and detailed their reflections on the challenges they had faced and overcome. Analysis revealed that complications including infection, pain, foreign bodies and further surgery prevented the wounds from healing. The participants found this frustrating and they further highlighted time as an important factor in their journey. The military environment formed a culture in which patients learned from, and were supported by, each other. This was compared to a community of practice. In conclusion suggestions were made for practice, policy and education and further research in this area.


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