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Open Access Describing Functioning and Health After Spinal Cord Injury in the Light of Psychological–Personal Factors

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Objective: To describe and explore functioning and health of persons with spinal cord injury from the perspective of psychological-personal factors in the light of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework.

Methods: Data from 511 participants regarding feelings, thoughts and beliefs, motives, and patterns of experience and behaviour were analysed. Measurement instruments included the Mental Health Index-5, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Appraisal of Life Events Scale, 5 items from the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale, Purpose in Life Test-Short Form, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Big Five Inventory-21, Social Skills Inventory-SF, Brief COPE. The distribution of the selected psychological-personal factors-indicators was examined using descriptive statistics. Differences between SCI subgroups by sex, age, age at injury, time since injury, aetiology and severity of injury were explored using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and F-tests.

Results: Participants who were older and sustained their spinal cord injury more recently experienced more depressed mood, less positive affect, less challenge appraisal, lower life satisfaction, lower purpose in life, and lower self-efficacy. They reported lower social skills, less usage of the coping strategies humour, positive reframing, and acceptance, and more usage of the coping strategies denial and self-distraction. Overall, effect sizes were small.

Discussion: Although study participants appeared to be well adjusted to spinal cord injury, those who sustained their injury at an older age and more recently reported more negative experiences. Quantitative description and exploration of the psychological-personal aspects of health will enable hypotheses to be formulated for further research, and suggest a need for tailored interventions for those at risk of less favourable outcomes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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