Using Exercise to Enhance Subjective Well-Being Among People With Spinal Cord Injury: The Mediating Influences of Stress and Pain

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PurposeTo assess exercise as a strategy for reducing pain and improving subjective well-being (SWB) among people with spinal cord injury (SCI).DesignRandomized controlled trial.Method and ParticipantsThirty-four individuals with SCI. Exercisers performed aerobic and resistance training twice weekly, whereas wait-list controls maintained their usual level of activity.ResultsAnalyses of covariance indicated that after 3 months, exercisers reported less pain, depression, and stress, as well as greater perceived quality of life and better physical self-concept than controls (ps < .05). Regression analyses revealed that changes in pain and stress mediated exercise-induced changes in perceived quality of life and depression.ConclusionChanges in pain and stress may be mechanisms by which exercise improves SWB among people with SCI.

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