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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Aug;92(8):1246-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.03.006.

The relationship between prescription medication use and ability to ambulate distances after spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President Street, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



To investigate the relationship between prescription medication use for pain and spasticity and ambulation distances while controlling for pain severity, injury severity, age, sex, and race in participants with spinal cord injury (SCI).


Secondary analysis of survey data.


Specialty hospital in the Southeast United States.


Adults (N=407) with traumatic SCI identified through inpatient and outpatient hospital databases.


Not applicable.


A questionnaire measured prescription medication use, ambulation distance, and other demographic data. A composite score of four 10-point scales from the Brief Pain Inventory was used to measure pain severity. Multinomial logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) of ambulation distance using 1000 ft or more as the reference group.


Persons with SCI who were heavy prescription medication users (defined as weekly or daily use for pain or spasticity) were more likely to be limited to distances less than 150 (OR, 2.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.57-5.04) and 150 to 999 ft (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.45-4.39).


Heavy prescription medication use for pain and spasticity was related inversely to a person's ability to achieve community ambulation distances of 1000 ft or more.

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

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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