Social Reintegration and Quality of Life after Spinal Cord Injury: the Greek Paradigm
1. Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Thriasion Hospital, Elefsis, Greece;
2. First Department of Orthopaedics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece;
3. Department of Kinesiotherapy and Physiotherapy, Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Previous studies reported on social reintegration (SR) of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients at their own countries. Their results on community accessibility, SR and ability to enter the labor market, and quality of life (QoL) varied. Therefore, we performed this study to evaluate SR and QoL of SCI people who have completed their rehabilitation program in Greece, and to correlate these findings with the demographic characteristics of the participants, as well as with the clinical parameters associated with SCI.
We retrospectively studied 164 patients with SCI (129 men, 35 women; mean age, 46 years; range, 20-80 years) who completed their rehabilitation program and lived in the community in Greece. Mean time from SCI was 15 years (range, 1-43 years). All participants completed questionnaires in an interview form. Questionnaires included demographic details and clinical information, pain score in a 0-10 point pain scale, CHART scale to assess SR, and the WHOQoL BREF scale to assess QoL. Univariate predictors for SR and QoL varied. Multivariate predictors for SR and QoL were gender, educational level, employment, type of SCI, presence of pressure ulcers, age for all domains except for economic self-sufficiency and environment, time elapsed from SCI, and pain for all domains except for physical independence and general health.
Patients with SCI in Greece experience similar SR and QoL with other European countries, except for community accessibility and ability to enter the labor market which is more adverse in Greece than in the other European countries.
Keywords: Spinal cord injury, Social reintegration, Quality of life, Greece.