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Table 2 Characteristics of included studies

From: Exploring what is important to patients with regards to quality of life after experiencing a lower limb reconstructive procedure: a qualitative evidence synthesis

References Country Sample Method (analytical approach) Main aim of interviews Themes identified
Aravind et al. [29] USA 20 participants with type IIIB or IIIC open tibial fractures. Reconstruction patients received flaps
Amputation (n = 9), reconstruction (n = 11)
Time since surgery: 2.3–12 years
Semi-structured interviews. (grounded theory) To explore patient decision making to identify the patients’ preferences and understanding of their injuries D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
Bernhoff et al. [32] Sweden 8 participants. 5 reconstruction and 3 amputation after a lower extremity trauma with vascular injury. 4–17 years after surgery Semi-structured interviews (phenomenology) To explore how patients experience life, years after severe lower extremity trauma with vascular injury A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
Griffiths and Jordan [24] UK 9 participants who had a lower limb fracture and undergone surgery. Approximately 3 years after injury Diaries and semi-structured interviews
(Grounded theory)
To investigate patients’ experiences of hospitalisation with lower limb trauma with regards to stressors during recovery, coping methods they put in place and what could change in practice to alleviate stress and augment patients coping strategies A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
McPhail et al. [31] Australia 12 participants who had previously had an ankle fracture (Distal fibula and/or distal tibia fracture. Seven of these had Open Reduction Internal Fixation) and 6 health professionals who treated ankle fracture patients In-depth semi-structured interviews. (thematic analysis) To look into patient experiences of ankle fracture on their everyday activities, work, leisure and how it made them feel A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
Mundy et al. [30] USA 33 participants who sustained a lower extremity trauma resulting in a limb-threatening lower extremity injury distal to the midfemur which resulted in amputation or required soft-tissue or vascular reconstruction with a local, regional or free tissue transfer for limb salvage. 15 underwent limb salvage or reconstruction, 11 underwent amputation and 7 underwent delayed amputation after failed reconstruction. Less than one to 33 years post injury (mean 6.9 years) Semi-structured interviews (constant comparison- Interpretive description of transcripts) To define issues and concepts important to limb salvage patients B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
Phelps et al. [25] UK 11 participants with a distal femoral fracture. Patients received intramedullary nails or distal locking plates. Interviewed < 5 months post-surgery. Two patients were interviewed twice Semi-structured interviews. (thematic analysis) To understand participants’ experience of the early phase of recovery after a distal femoral fracture A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
Rees et al. [26] UK 25 participants who had received reconstructive surgery for an open fracture. Between 24 and 49 months post injury. Gustilo-Anderson II (n = 4) or III (n = 18), IIIc (n = 3) Individual interviews. (phenomenology) To understand patients experience of recovery A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
Trickett et al. [28] UK 9 participants were interviewed after an open tibial fracture. Gustilo-Anderson grade I, II, IIIa, IIIb. 1 participant had an amputation and 8 participants received a circular external fixation (n = 5) or an intramedullary nail (n = 3). At least 15 months post-injury (mean injury to interview interval 2.3 years) Semi-structured interviews. (conventional content analysis) To explore patients’ personal perspective of their injury, treatment, rehabilitation and psychosocial and financial situations A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery
Tutton et al. [27] UK 20 participants after their first surgical intervention (5–35 days after) due open fracture of the lower limb. Gustilo-Anderson II (n = 4) or III (n-16) Interviews (phenomenology) To understand patients’ experiences of injury and recovery A. Pain
B. Daily lifestyle and functioning
C. Income
D. Identity
E. Emotional wellbeing
F. Support
G. Ability to adapt and adjust
H. Ability to move forwards during recovery