A study of the amputee experience of viewing self in the mirror




Freysteinson, Wyona M.
Thomas, Lisa
Sebastian-Deutsch, Amy
Douglas, Denika
Melton, Danielle
Celia, Tania
Reeves, Kristin
Bowyer, Patricia

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Purpose: To describe the trajectory of viewing self in a mirror after an amputation and participants’ perceptions of what health care professionals should know about mirrors.

Design: Hermeneutic phenomenology

Methods: Focus groups were conducted to collect the research data.

Findings: The mirror experience had three key moments: decision, seeing, and consent. The trajectory of viewing self in a mirror had four key themes: mirror shock, mirror anguish, recognizing self, and acceptance: a new normal. Participants’ recommendations for introducing the mirror after an amputation and using a mirror to avoid skin breakdown and infection, and correct gait and balance are described.

Conclusions: This study provides a unique viewpoint into the world of those who have suffered amputation of a limb.

Clinical Relevance: Rehabilitation nurses and other health care professionals are encouraged through these participants to consider the effect and value of mirrors when caring for those who have had an amputation.


Published online with Funds from Texas Woman's University Open Access Fund.
Article originally published in Rehabilitation Nursing, 42(1), 22–32. English. Published online 2017. https://doi.org/10.1002/rnj.256


Amputation, Practice implications, Qualitative research


This is a published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/rnj.256. Recommended citation: Freysteinson, W., Thomas, L., Sebastian-Deutsch, A., Douglas, D., Melton, D., Celia, T., Reeves, K., & Bowyer, P. (2017). A study of the amputee experience of viewing self in the mirror. Rehabilitation Nursing, 42(1), 22–32. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.