Ageing, limb-loss, and military veterans: A systematic review of the literature

Nick Caddick, H. Cullen, Amanda Clarke, Matt Fossey, Barbara Harrington, Michael Hill, Gill McGill, Jane Greaves, Teri Taylor, Matt Kiernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The impact of losing a limb in military service extends well beyond initial recovery and rehabilitation, with long-term consequences and challenges requiring health-care commitments across the lifecourse. This paper presents a systematic review of the current state of knowledge regarding the long-term impact of ageing and limb-loss in military veterans. Key databases were systematically searched including: ASSIA, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, PsycArticles/PsychInfo, ProQuest Psychology and ProQuest Sociology Journals, and SPORTSDiscus. Empirical studies which focused on the long-term impact of limb-loss and/or health-care requirements in veterans were included. The search process revealed 30 papers relevant for inclusion. These papers focused broadly on four themes: (a) long-term health outcomes, prosthetics use and quality of life; (b) long-term psycho-social adaptation and coping with limb-loss; (c) disability and identity; and (d) estimating the long-term costs of care and prosthetic provision. Findings present a compelling case for ensuring the long-term care needs and costs of rehabilitation for older limbless veterans are met. A dearth of information on the lived experience of limb-loss and the needs of veterans’ families calls for further research to address these important issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1582-1610
Number of pages29
JournalAgeing & Society
Issue number8
Early online date4 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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