Associations and Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress Levels According to Person-Related, Disability-Related, and Trauma-Related Variables Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries

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ObjectiveTo examine the associations and predictors of posttraumatic stress among individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the framework of a Person × Disability × Traumatic Event model.DesignAn exploratory study involving analyses of variance, correlations, and a hierarchical multiple regression of a cross-sectional sample.ParticipantsThree hundred twelve individuals with SCI using a veteran or a civilian SCI clinic.Main Outcome MeasuresPurdue Posttraumatic Stress Disorder—Revised scale (PPTSD-R).ResultsFour out of all the examined variables had significant regression coefficients: spiritual-religious coping, pain level, severity of SCI, and number of traumatic events. Severity of SCI was a significant predictor, but data suggested that severity of SCI had a curvilinear association with both total posttraumatic stress levels and hyperarousal scores.ConclusionTreatment of an individual's pain may reduce posttraumatic stress symptoms. Clinicians also can evaluate for previous trauma unrelated to the onset of the SCI and can intervene with the goal of reducing the impact of previous trauma on the individual's present emotional state and reactions to SCI.

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