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Disabil Rehabil. 2005 Nov 30;27(22):1381-9.

Health problems of persons with spinal cord injury living in the Netherlands.

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Institute for Rehabilitation Research (IRv), Rehabilitation Centre Hoensbroeck, PO Box 192, 6430 AD Hoensbroeck, The Netherlands.



To investigate the prevalence of health problems among persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) living in the Netherlands, to identify the problems experienced as most important, and to analyse the experienced impact of these most important problems on daily activities and social life.


Postal survey among all members of the Dutch Association of Patients with SCI. The questionnaire focused on 26 health problems: 13 secondary impairments, 8 problems of daily living and 5 psychosocial problems.


The respondents (response rate 45.5%, 454 persons) experienced an average of 8 health problems. The most frequently occurring problems regarded bladder and bowel regulation, spasms, pain, oedema and sexuality. Except for oedema, these problems were also most often cited as the most important. The most disabling condition for both daily and social activities was pain. Few significant relationships were found between the prevalence of health problems and the level, completeness and duration of the injury or gender.


Persons with SCI living in the community experience many health problems and limitations in daily activities and social life due to these problems. The occurrence of these problems does not diminish with increasing time after injury. This strongly emphasises the need for follow-up care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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