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Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(1):76-83. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.587089. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Life satisfaction in people with spinal cord injury during the first five years after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.

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Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience and Centre of Excellence for Rehabilitation Medicine, University Medical Centre Utrecht and De Hoogstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To describe the course of life satisfaction in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) during the first 5 years after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation and to examine its determinants.


Multi-centre prospective cohort study with four measurements, the first at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, the last 5 years after discharge. Data of 162 persons with SCI were analyzed. Life satisfaction was measured as the sum score of 'current life satisfaction' and 'current life satisfaction compared to life satisfaction before SCI'. Lesion characteristics, functional independence, secondary impairments, pain, social support and self-efficacy were analyzed as possible determinants of life satisfaction. Random coefficient analysis was used for the analyses.


No significant changes in life satisfaction were found between discharge and 2 years later, however there were significant increases from two to 5 years post discharge. High functional independence, low pain, high everyday social support and high self-efficacy were significant determinants of a positive course of life satisfaction after discharge.


Increases in life satisfaction were found in persons with SCI in the long run. High functional status, low pain, good social skills and high self-efficacy were related to high life satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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