Clinical Neuroscience

The effects of the level of spinal cord injury on life satisfaction and disability

GULSAH Karatas, NESLIHAN Metli, ELIF Yalcin, RAMAZAN Gündüz, FATIH Karatas, MÜFIT Akyuz

JANUARY 30, 2020

Clinical Neuroscience - 2020;73(01-02)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.73.0027

Introduction - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may often lead to significant disability in affected individuals and reduce life satisfaction. Herein we aimed to investigate the effects of the level of injury on disability and life satisfaction as well as the relation between life satisfaction and disability. Methods - Patients with at least one-year history of SCI were included. Demographic-clinical data of patients were recorded. The Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique-Short Form (CHART-SF) was used for quantifying the degree of patients’ disability. Life satisfaction was assessed by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results - Of the 76 patients, 21 (27.6%) were tetraplegic and 55 (72.4%) were paraplegic. SWLS was found to be similar in tetraplegic vs. paraplegic patients (P=0.59), whereas CHART parameters such as physical independence, mobility, occupation, and total CHART value were significantly higher in paraplegic patients (P=0.04, P=0.04, P=0.001 and P=0.01, respectively). Social integration was found similarly high in both groups. There was a positive correlation between elapsed time after the injury and CHART physical independence, occupation and the level of economic sufficiency (P<0.01, P<0.01, P=0.01). Excluding the economic sufficiency (P=0.02), there was not any other association between the rest of CHART parameters and SWLS. Conclusions - According to our findings, although the level of injury seems to be influential on disability, it seems to have no significant effect on life satisfaction. Since the only thing that positively affects life satisfaction is economic sufficiency, more emphasis should be placed on regulations that increase the return to work in patients.

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