Does Functional Motor Incomplete (AIS D) Spinal Cord Injury Confer Unanticipated Challenges?
Purpose/Objective: Examine psychological challenges associated with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) among a cohort of Veterans. Research Method/Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. SCI Centers participating in a multisite evaluation of longitudinal employment, quality of life, and economic outcomes among a large cohort of veterans with SCI, the Predictive Outcome Model Over Time for Employment (PrOMOTE) project. A total of 1,047 patients from participating SCI Centers provided baseline interviews. Main outcome measures included the Veterans RAND 36-Item Health Survey (VR-36) Mental Component Score (MCS); VR-36 Mental Health Scale; VR-36 Vitality Scale; VR-36 Bodily Pain Scale; Quick Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology, Self-Report (QIDS-SR); Patient Health Questionnaire-Depression Scale (PHQ-9); and Diener Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results: ANOVA analysis showed that persons with AIS D SCI evidenced higher self-reported depressive symptoms, higher pain, and a lower subjective quality of life. Conclusions/Implications: Individuals with functional motor incomplete spinal cord injury are more vulnerable to psychological distress and a low subjective quality of life than might be expected based on functional outcomes. Further study appears warranted to ascertain potential explanations for these findings.