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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Jun;49(6):458-63.

Life satisfaction of young adults with spina bifida.

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  • 1Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. h.a.barf@bvl.umcg.nl


This study concerns life satisfaction and its determinants in Dutch young adults with spina bifida (SB). Data on life satisfaction (Life Satisfaction Questionnaire [LiSat-9]) were related to hydrocephalus, lesion level, disabilities, and demographic variables. In total, 179 young adults with SB participated (41% male, age range 16-25y; 79% SB aperta, 67% hydrocephalus [HC], 39% wheelchair-dependent). Most were satisfied with their life as a whole (24% dissatisfied). No difference was found from a population reference group (28% dissatisfied). Highest proportions of dissatisfaction were found for financial situation (44%), partnership relations (49%), and sex life (55%). Least dissatisfaction was found for contact with friends (17%) and families (15%). Young adults with SB and HC were more satisfied with their financial situation and family life but were less satisfied with self-care ability and partnership relations than those without HC and the reference group. However, except for self-care ability, relationships between life satisfaction and having SB were weak. In conclusion, self-care ability and partnership relations were rated least favourable and may need more attention from care providers. Overall, SB does not seem to be an important determinant of life satisfaction.

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