van Koppenhagen CF, Post MW, van der Woude LH, de Witte LP, van Asbeck FW, de Groot S, van den Heuvel W, Lindeman E. Changes and determinants of life satisfaction after spinal cord injury: a cohort study in The Netherlands. Objective: To determine the impact of spinal cord injury (SCI) on life satisfaction of persons with SCI 1 year after discharge of inpatient rehabilitation. Design: A cohort study. Life satisfaction before SCI was retrospectively measured at the start of active rehabilitation. One year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, current life satisfaction was measured. Setting: Eight rehabilitation centers in The Netherlands. Participants: Persons (N=147) aged 18 to 65 and wheelchair-dependent at least for long distances. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: The Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Results: Mean satisfaction with life ± SD as a whole was 5.3±0 before SCI and 4.3±1.3 one year after inpatient rehabilitation. Sexual life, self-care, and vocational situation showed the largest impact of SCI (P < .05), whereas the social relationships domains appeared to be the least affected. Decrease of life satisfaction after SCI was larger when using the retrospective ratings than when using general population scores. Significant determinants of life satisfaction after SCI were high lesion level (β=.31, P < .05), pain (β=.19, P < .05), and secondary impairments (β=.22, P < .05). Conclusions: Life satisfaction decreased in persons with SCI. Level of lesion and suffering secondary impairments or pain were associated with low life satisfaction 1 year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. © 2008 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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