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Survey of Phantom Limb Pain, Phantom Sensation and Stump Pain in Cambodian and New Zealand Amputees


Kelly Patrick Anthony Byrne, MBChB, 96 Taipari Street, Maungatapu, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand. Tel: 0064 7 839 8718; Fax: 0064 7 838 8761; E-mail:


Objective.  The primary objective of this study is to compare the prevalence of phantom limb pain in New Zealand and Cambodian amputees and to assess the demographics of a sample of amputees from these two countries.

Design.  All participants were interviewed using a 12-question survey that covered demographic data and reason for amputation and assessed the presence of phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain, and stump pain. Amputees attending an artificial limb center in Cambodia were approached and interviewed in person. New Zealand amputees attending the Waikato artificial limb center were randomly selected and interviewed by phone.

Results.  There was no statistically significant difference in phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain, or stump pain between the two groups. There was a much higher unemployment rate in the Cambodian amputees. There were no other statistically significant differences between the groups

Conclusion.  Despite very different environments, there was no difference in the phantom limb pain between the groups. One possible explanation is that the severity of neurological injury associated with amputation overrides all the other risk factors that influence the development of other chronic pain syndromes.

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