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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jun;83(6):791-801.

Employment outcomes of adults who sustained spinal cord injuries as children or adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago, IL 60707, USA. canderson@shrinenet.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine employment outcomes of adults with pediatric-onset spinal cord injury (SCI) and factors associated with those outcomes.

DESIGN:

Structured interview, including standardized measures.

SETTING:

Community.

PARTICIPANTS:

Individuals who sustained an SCI at age 18 years or younger, were 24 years or older at follow-up, did not have a significant brain injury, and were living in the United States or Canada. A total of 195 subjects were interviewed. Mean age at injury was 14 years (0-18 y), mean age at interview was 29 years (24-37 y), and mean duration of injury was 15 years (7-28 y). All participants had been enrolled in SCI programs.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A structured interview, the FIM instrument, the Craig Handicap Assessment and Recording Technique, the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale.

RESULTS:

Of the participants, 99 (51%) were employed, 78 (40%) were unemployed, 12 (6%) were students, and 6 (3%) were homemakers. A predictive model of employment identified 4 factors associated with employment: education, community mobility, functional independence, and decreased medical complications. Other variables significantly associated with employment included community integration, independent driving, independent living, higher income, and life satisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Compared with the general population, the high rate of unemployment among adults with pediatric-onset SCI is a cause for concern. Risk factors associated with adult unemployment provide guidelines for targeting rehabilitation resources and strategies.

PMID:
12048657
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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