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Focus on how loss of limb function affects families

Published: 1 October 2020 at 18:03

Holding hands

ARU to work on study with Forces in Mind Trust and Blesma following £197K grant

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is to carry out research into how the loss of an individual’s limb function can impact on the everyday life of their families, following a £197,000 research grant.

ARU’s Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI) will work with Blesma, the charity for limbless veterans, after receiving the funding from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

Researchers will interview people living with a loss of limb function, as well as their families. The project will provide in-depth insight into how they experience the impact of the loss of function of limbs, including wellbeing and the socio-psychological effects.

While the research will focus on military veterans, it is hoped that finding out more about this area could help charities and other organisations provide more assistance to the general population.

Dr Hilary Engward, who is leading the research for ARU, said:


“Unfortunately, there is little previous research exploring how individuals and families live with the loss of function of limbs.

“There can be an enormous variation in needs from person to person and we need to understand that better. For example, the needs of those who are tetraplegic, and those who have lost function in one limb but are otherwise mobile, vary dramatically.


“This research project will meet a need both locally and nationally in understanding and in service provision, and will be world-leading in developing awareness, insight and understanding into the day to day life of families, and how best we can support those who care for people who no longer have full use of their limbs.”