Rehabilitation of Danish veterans with spinal cord injuries during international missions

Nicolaj Jersild Holm, Bodil Bjørnshave Noe, Dorte Dahl Hoffmann, Fin Biering-Sørensen

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    Abstract

    INTRODUCTION: In the past decades, Danish soldiers have participated more frequently in combat which has resulted in an increased number of severe injuries. The aim of this study was to describe the initial treatment and rehabilitation as well as the level of function, employment, social relations, participation in leisure time activities, health, quality of life (QoL) and late complications at a follow-up in six veterans who sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) during international military missions.

    METHODS: Medical records were retrieved regarding the initial treatment and rehabilitation. Questionnaires based on international experience related to SCI were used.

    RESULTS: The six male veterans were generally satisfied with their rehabilitation and found that they had influenced its course. All veterans had consultation with psychologists during hospitalisation, and two were advised to attend further consultations with military psychologists following discharge. The length of hospitalisation corresponded to the mean hospitalisation period for SCI patients in Denmark. At discharge, the veterans were independent with regard to clothing, toileting and mobility. All resumed work after discharge, five in the military. Satisfaction with their current work was related to whether their work skills corresponded to the work tasks at hand. Four found that their QoL was very good, one that it was satisfactory, another that it was unsatisfactory.

    CONCLUSION: Danish veterans with SCI were generally satisfied with their initial rehabilitation. They regained independence, and all returned to work.

    FUNDING: government funding via the Veteran's policy programme.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: GLO-2012-10.

    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
    Vol/bind62
    Udgave nummer1
    Sider (fra-til)A4983
    ISSN1603-9629
    StatusUdgivet - jan. 2015

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