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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Aug;80(8):867-76.

Correlates of life satisfaction among persons with spinal cord injury.

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Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.



To analyze the correlates of life satisfaction for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).


Survey; follow-up of subjects studied prospectively since onset of injury.


A total of 2,183 persons with SCI, from 1 to 20 years postinjury, self-selected for annual research (and clinical) follow-up by one of 18 model systems of SCI care.


Life satisfaction, as measured with the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), is associated with several demographic, social, functional, and clinical characteristics. Stepwise linear regression analysis resulted in a predictor model that included the following: sex (beta weight: .07; p < .001); number of rehospitalizations in the last year (-.05; p < .05); years since injury (.13; p < .0001); sociocognitive disability as measured with the Functional Independence Measure (.06; p < .01); and three handicap components, as measured with the modified Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique: mobility (.26; p < .0001); occupation (.10; p < .001); and social integration (.11; p < .0001). Impairment (level of injury) contributed indirectly, through its impact on motor disability. Racial/ethnic group membership, motor disability, and education contributed indirectly, through their effects on handicap.


Life satisfaction after SCI can be reliably measured by means of the SWLS. Correlates of subjective well-being parallel those suggested by earlier studies and those for the population at large. The effects of life satisfaction on social participation, health, and other aspects of life need further study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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