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Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2010 Fall;16(2):61-71.

Personality and Behavioral Predictors of Pressure Ulcer History.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions, Medical University South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.



To assess the relationship of psychological, environmental, and behavioral factors with pressure ulcers (PUs) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI).


A total of 1,549 participants from a large rehabilitation hospital in the southeast United States answered questions regarding outcomes after SCI. Variables from each set of factors were entered sequentially into the model: (1) psychological and environmental, and (2) behavioral.


Forty-eight percent of participants reported having a PU in the past year. After entering behavioral variables into the model, all environmental and psychological variables became nonsignificant. Odds of having a PU increased 28% with each psychotropic medication taken weekly. Persons who smoked one or more packs of cigarettes daily had 2.82 times the odds of having a PU than persons who did not smoke. Increased hours out of bed were protective against PUs.


This study demonstrated the importance of health behaviors in the occurrence of PUs after SCI. These health behaviors provide important targets for intervention for health care providers.

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