Independent living outcomes in spinal cord injury: multivariate analyses

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1984 Feb;65(2):66-73.


This paper presents results of a study designed to isolate those medical, personal, and environmental factors that best predict a spinal cord injured (SCI) person's ability to live independently following discharge from medical rehabilitation. A formal research model is used to identify the most promising dependent and independent variables. The principal data source is an extensive data file of 111 persons with SCI who were discharged from 10 medical rehabilitation centers across the nation. The two main independent living (IL) outcome variables are (1) a person's ability to live in a less restrictive environment, and (2) a person's ability to live productively--not only in terms of gainful employment but also in terms of other contributions to community and family life. Using multiple regression analysis, the paper reports that approximately 63% of the variance in IL outcome can be explained. The most important predictors of IL outcome are marital status, education, transportation barriers, economic disincentives, and the severity of a person's disability as measured by the Barthel index. All predictors are statistically significant. The paper concludes with implications for medical rehabilitation practice and disability policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Architectural Accessibility
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation
  • Prognosis
  • Self Care*
  • Self-Help Devices
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Transportation