Life Activities Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury Living in the Community: Perceived Choice and Perceived Barriers

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To apply the World Health Organization model of functioning to a study of perceived choice over life activities and barriers to engaging in life activities among persons with spinal cord injury.

Participants and Setting

This large community-dwelling sample included 255 participants from 2 urban sites and 1 rural site.


Items from the Participation of People With Mobility Limitations Survey were used.


Approximately half of the participants reported little or no perceived choice with employment, and the majority reported low levels of satisfaction with choice with employment. Access to employment was limited by physical barriers (48%) and transportation (46%). Physical impairment, pain, and fatigue were also barriers.


Improvements of workplace and transportation accessibility, increased vocational supports, and interventions to decrease pain and fatigue are needed to ensure participation for persons with spinal cord injury.

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