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Spinal Cord. 2008 May;46(5):380-5. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Predicting life satisfaction after spinal cord injury in a Canadian sample.

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Lyndhurst Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Cross-sectional, survey.


To extend current theoretical models predicting life satisfaction post-spinal cord injury (SCI). Our primary model predicting life satisfaction as measured by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) examined demographic characteristics, elements of the International Classification of Functioning and subjective and objective measures of health. A second model was developed to examine factors that are associated with successful community participation as measured by the Reintegration to Normal Living Index (RNL). In addition, the effects of psychological distress and chronic pain on life satisfaction and community participation were examined.


Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program, Lyndhurst Centre.


Prospective data collection via semi-structured telephone interview on an established SCI Canadian sample.


In predicting life satisfaction, our model accounted for 35.3% of the variance with demographic characteristics, objective and subjective health, and community participation significantly contributing to the model. In particular, psychological complications, current health rating and community participation were the only variables that made significant contributions in predicting life satisfaction. With regards to community participation, the presence of psychological complications and number of medical complications were associated with decreased reintegration. Increased time since injury onset, higher health ratings and being employed were positively related to RNL.


It would appear that factors involving functional decline and aging are associated with lower participation but not life satisfaction. Further, models predicting quality of life should incorporate measures of psychological functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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