British Ageing with SCI Study: Changes in Physical and Psychosocial Outcomes over Time

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Aim:To present main physical and psychosocial changes experienced by the participants of the British Ageing with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) study over a 16-year time period.Method:Interview and examination results collected between 1990 and 2006, in a sample of people injured more than 20 years prior to 1990, were analysed using mixed effects model analysis.Results:Out of the original 293 study participants, 122 completed the 2006 follow-up. Throughout the study, the most frequently reported problems were urinary tract infections, upper extremity pain, fatigue, pressure sores, constipation, and bowel accidents. Pressure sore prevalence remained stable. Use of suprapubic catheters and intermittent catheterization increased over time, as did manual bowel evacuation and colostomy methods. Depressive symptomatology increased, and Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART) mobility and occupation subscores worsened. However, CHART social integration subscores remained stable, as did scores on the Life Satisfaction Index and self-reported quality of life (QOL). Three quarters of the sample still rated their QOL as either “good” or “excellent” in 2006.Conclusions:In spite of a rise in medical and functional problems, reported QOL and life satisfaction remain relatively good and stable in patients ageing with SCI.

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