Health-related quality of life in persons with long-standing spinal cord injury

I B Lidal, M Veenstra, N Hjeltnes, F Biering-Sørensen


STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of all patients with traumatic SCI admitted to Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway between 1961 and 1982.

OBJECTIVES: To assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in persons with long-standing traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in Norway.

SETTING: Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway.

METHODS: Survey data and clinical examination of 165 persons with traumatic SCI of more than 20 years duration. HRQOL was assessed with the Norwegian 36-item short-form [corrected] (SF-36) Health Survey. The SF-36 results were compared with Norwegian norm data adjusted to age and gender. Differences in HRQOL between subgroups were studied.

RESULTS: The persons with SCI exhibited significantly decreased HRQOL in the subscales for Physical Functioning, Bodily Pain, General Health, Social Functioning [corrected] and Vitality compared to the normal population. There were relatively small differences in HRQOL when comparing persons with paraplegia versus tetraplegia and persons with AIS (ASIA Impairment Scale; ASIA, American Spinal Injury Association) A-C versus D-E. Employed persons reported higher HRQOL compared to unemployed persons. HRQOL of individuals reporting health problems or symptoms was worse than those of individuals reporting no health problems at all.

CONCLUSION: HRQOL is decreased in persons with long-standing SCI and especially in persons with comorbidity conditions.

TidsskriftSpinal Cord
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)710-5
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2008


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