The relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder following spinal cord injury and locus of control

J Affect Disord. 2006 Jul;93(1-3):229-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2006.02.021. Epub 2006 May 2.


Objective: This study examined whether locus of control was associated with spinal cord injury posttraumatic stress disorder (SCI-PTSD).

Methods: Sixty-two SCI patients and 54 people without SCI participated in the study. The patients were assessed using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL), the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC). The control group was assessed using the GHQ-28 and the MHLC.

Results: Forty-four percent of patients suffered from full-blown PTSD. SCI patients experienced significantly more general health problems than the control. Type of SCI and trauma recency were not significantly correlated with PTSD symptoms or general health problems but previous traumatic events were. Regression analyses showed that internal health locus of control (IHLC) and powerful other locus of control (POLC) predicted the re-experiencing symptom; IHLC predicted the avoidance symptom; POLC predicted GHQ-28 total.

Conclusion: SCI patients' perceptions of whether their health was or was not determined by their own behaviour (i.e. internal or external locus of control) were associated with SCI-PTSD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Sick Role
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology