Psychological Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: Incidence of Denial, Depression, and Anxiety

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One hundred and eighteen spinal cord injured clients who had been referred to vocational rehabilitation, completed the Mini-Mult, an abbreviated form of the MMPI, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Average scores were well within the normal range and suggested no psychopathology. Individual Mini-Mult profiles were examined for evidence of depressive reactions, anxiety reactions, and psychological denial, and for frequency of two-point, high-scale codes of 70 or greater. Anxiety and depressive reactions were practically non-existent. One third of the sample were classified as deniers, one fifth of the sample had Mini-Mult two-point scale scores which suggested they might withdraw from people and have an inability to express hostility. There were no apparent relationships between psychological adjustment and sex, time since injury, point in the rehabilitation process, or cause of injury. Paraplegia was related to denial, quadriplegia to anxiety. Older SCI had significant elevations on the neurotic triad scales of the Mini-Mult.

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