Examining factors that contribute to the process of resilience following spinal cord injury

Spinal Cord. 2013 Jul;51(7):553-7. doi: 10.1038/sc.2013.25. Epub 2013 May 21.


Study design: Cross-sectional survey.

Objective: To examine factors that contribute to the process of positive adjustment, or resilience, in an adult community sample with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Setting: South Australian Spinal Cord Injury Service, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, South Australia, Australia

Methods: A postal survey comprising standardised measures of resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-10 item), self-efficacy (Moorong Self-Efficacy Scale), locus of control (Locus of Control of Behaviour Scale) and psychological distress (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale--21 item).

Results: Of 60 respondents, 58% reported moderate to high levels of resilience. Resilience correlated significantly with high self-efficacy (r=0.68, P<0.01), internal locus of control (r=-0.52, P<0.01) and low psychological distress (depression r=-0.68, P<0.01; anxiety r=-0.55, P<0.01; stress r=-0.67, P<0.01). In comparison, resilience was not significantly influenced by degree of neuropathic pain (r=-0.23, P>0.05), time since injury (r=-0.14, P>0.05), gender (t(58)=-0.92, P>0.05), lesion completeness (t(57)=-0.86, P>0.05), or SCI diagnosis (t(58)=-1.21, P>0.05). A multiple regression indicated that psychological distress and self-efficacy were the only two variables that uniquely contributed to resilient behaviour.

Conclusion: Resilience is an important psychological process in the longer-term management of SCI which can be promoted by targeting rehabilitation interventions towards mood management in addition to self efficacy beliefs. Larger-scale research will help to validate these results.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Data Collection
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Australia / epidemiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*
  • Young Adult