Health-related outcomes of people with spinal cord injury - a 10 year longitudinal study
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Objectives: To describe the health outcomes for people with spinal cord injury and identify how indicators of health change over time. Setting: Queensland, Australia Study Design: Longitudinal panel design over 10 years Methods: A structured interview consisting of measures of perceived health, medical services utilisation, hospitalisation, and pressure sore occurrence was administered on six occasions over 10 years post discharge from hospital following the initial rehabilitation episode. Results: The majority of respondents were relatively healthy over the course of the 10 year study and required minimal medical interventions or hospitalisation. There was however a group of up to 20% of respondents who required extensive medical intervention including hospitalisation and pressure sore management. Conclusion: The findings have significant implications for health care policy and strategic planning for the ongoing management of spinal cord injury. A biopsychosocial approach combining patient education, cognitive behavioral interventions, screening and treatment for affective disorders and environmental interventions is recommended to facilitate optimal health outcomes for people with SCI over the long term. Keywords: spinal cord injury; hospital readmission, pressure sores; health services; mortality
© 2008 Nature Publishing Group. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.