Injury Perceptions, Hope for Recovery, and Psychological Status After Spinal Cord Injury

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of injury perceptions and hope for recovery with life satisfaction, purpose in life, and depressive symptoms measured during inpatient rehabilitation after spinal cord injury (SCI).


Participants included adults hospitalized for SCI inpatient rehabilitation (N = 208), each of whom completed a modified version of the Illness Perception Questionnaire and three outcome measures: the Purpose in Life Scale, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and the abbreviated version of the Patient Health Questionnaire.


Principal components analysis indicated an SCI perceptions factor regarding severity, permanence, and cure control of SCI, and a second factor related to hope for recovery. Whereas hope for recovery was nearly universal, injury perceptions were more varied. Favorable injury perceptions of SCI were predictive of purpose in life, whereas hope for recovery was predictive of life satisfaction.


Hope for recovery and favorable SCI perceptions were related to positive psychological outcomes during inpatient rehabilitation, although the strength of the relationship was limited.

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