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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Mar;92(3):425-32. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.10.041.

The influence of secondary conditions on job acquisition and retention in adults with spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



To examine the associations of job acquisition and job retention to secondary conditions, hospitalizations, and nursing home stays for adults with spinal cord injury (SCI).


Retrospective analysis of longitudinal data from multicenter study.


Community setting.


Two samples of adults participating in the SCI Model Systems; the first sample consisted of persons who reported being unemployed at follow-up (n=9501); the second sample consisted of those who reported working at follow-up (n=5,150).


Not applicable.


Job acquisition (change from not working at 1 anniversary of injury to working at the following data collection) and job retention (maintenance of work between 2 assessment periods).


Discrete time hazard modeling was used to assess how secondary conditions affect job acquisition. After controlling for the effects of demographic and injury characteristics, hospitalizations within the last 12 months were associated with decreased chance of having obtained employment. Hierarchic logistic regression analyses were used to examine job retention. Hospitalizations and the presence of PUs were associated with lower odds of job retention once demographic and injury characteristics were controlled. Secondary conditions from the previous assessment period were not significantly related to either job acquisition or job retention after the variance from demographic and injury characteristics and current secondary conditions were controlled.


Hospitalization, as well as a limited number of secondary conditions, were associated with reduced odds of both job acquisition and job retention among adults with SCI. Interventions that can prevent secondary conditions and reduce the need for hospitalizations may be beneficial in improving employment for this population.

Copyright © 2011 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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