Health status rated with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey after spinal cord injury.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2005, 86 (12), pp. 2290 - 2295
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OBJECTIVE: To describe the health status of Australians with spinal cord injury (SCI). DESIGN: Survey. SETTING: Australian population-based sample. PARTICIPANTS: Participants (N=305) with SCI at recruitment to a randomized trial. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) health questionnaire. RESULTS: Compared with the general population, our sample reported significantly lower scores in 6 SF-36 domains (physical function, role-physical, bodily pain, general health, social function, vitality) and the physical component summary (PCS) score, but unexpectedly higher mental component summary (MCS) scores (difference in mean MCS scores, 4.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.4-6.8). Compared with people with tetraplegia, those with paraplegia had better physical function and PCS scores (difference, 21; 95% CI, 17-24; difference, 3; 95% CI, 1-5, respectively), and worse bodily pain scores (difference, 9; 95% CI, 2-15). Recent urinary infections were associated with worse general health, vitality, mental health, and MCS scores. Receiving family or external physical care was associated with worse physical function and PCS scores, but better mental health and MCS scores. Older age at injury was associated with lower bodily pain and PCS scores. CONCLUSIONS: Using the SF-36, Australians with SCI rate their physical (not mental) health status as worse than the general population.
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