Study design: A field study of the relationship between skin sores and life adjustment after spinal cord injury (SCI) was conducted by surveying a sample of more than 1000 participants with SCI.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the number of skin sores and days adversely impacted by skin sores with multiple indicators of life adjustment after SCI.
Summary of background data: Most existing research on skin sores after SCI has been epidemiologic in nature, with limited investigation of the relationship between problems with skin sores and psychosocial adjustment.
Methods: A total of 1017 participants completed the Life Situation Questionnaire-revised (LSQ-R), a measure of multiple long-term outcomes after SCI.
Results: Just less than half of all respondents (46%) reported having at least one skin sore during the 2 year period prior to the study, but only 27% reported having to reduce their sitting time by at least 1 day during the same time period due to skin sores. Although biographic characteristics were generally unrelated to skin sores (e.g., gender, race), both the number of skin sores and days adversely impacted by sores were correlated with poorer adjustment in nearly every area of life studied.
Conclusions: Although the results are correlational and cannot be taken as evidence for causation, it is clear that prevention of skin sores is critical for people with SCI. There is a need for research to identify psychological and behavioral risk factors for skin problems after SCI.