Aging and life adjustment after spinal cord injury.

Design: A field study of aging after spinal cord injury (SCI) was conducted by surveying the life adjustment of a large sample of participants with SCI.

Objective: The purpose of the current study was to compare life adjustment scores between cohorts of participants based on chronologic age, age at injury onset, time since injury and percentage of life with SCI.

Summary of Background Data: Existing cross-sectional research suggests that age is negatively correlated and time since injury is positively correlated with life adjustment. However, few studies had investigated aging among people who have lived 30 or more years with SCI.

Methods: A total of 435 participants, 55 of whom were injured for 30 or more years, completed the Life Situation Questionnaire-Revised (LSQ-R), a measure of multiple SCIoutcomes. p. Results: Results indicated that being injured later in life is associated with a lower overall level of subjective well-being, poorer health, and a less active lifestyle. However, subjective well-being appears to improve throughout the life-cycle, even beyond 30 years post-injury, thus neutralizing the adverse impact of age at onset on subjective well-being, but not on health or activities.

Conclusion: The results suggest that rehabilitation professionals need to pay special attention to problems presented by being injured after the age of 40, particularly as it relates to activities. Living 30 or more years with SCI does not appear to present overwhelming barriers to adjustment.