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  1. McCutcheon, Tonna BSN, RN, CGRN
  2. Knepp, Tera BSN, RN
  3. Richards, Nicole BSN, RN
  4. Sparks, Martha PhD, GCNS


Comparing the quality of life of persons who have experienced amputations and persons who have had bowel resections illustrates the impact of chronic disease upon all aspects of a patient's life. Because the purpose of nursing research is to bring about knowledge to better direct patient care, understanding the impact of chronic illness contributes to an improvement in the quality of life of these patients. By appreciating the patient's perspective concerning the illness, the nurse can better educate the patient in all aspects of the disease process.


Based on Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring, this study acknowledged the need for evidence-based nursing practice to care for the well-being of the patient in a holistic manner. Our hypothesis was adult patients after Crohn disease-related bowel resection experience a better quality of life than do adult patients with peripheral vascular disease related amputation. This descriptive comparative study had a sample of patients with Crohn disease and resection (n = 28) and patients with peripheral vascular amputation (n = 16). The instrument used to measure quality of life was the RAND-36 Item Health Survey 1.0. Results revealed significant differences between the patients with bowel resection and those with peripheral vascular amputation with regard to physical functioning, general health, and role limitations related to physical health. No significant differences existed between the two groups in terms of energy/fatigue, emotional well-being, social functioning, role limitations related to emotional problems, and pain. Results from the data may indicate that the incorporation of more education regarding social, emotional, physiological, and psychological aspects of postoperative life may be of importance to evidence based nursing practice. This addition may also lead to better adjustment to postoperative life for patients and improve overall quality of life.