Background: Past research has found youth with disabilities to experience poor psychosocial outcomes, but little is known about factors related to psychosocial health among youth with spinal cord injury (SCI).Objective: To describe psychosocial health among youth with SCI, examine relationships between psychosocial outcomes and demographic and injury-related factors, and examine relationships between aspects of psychosocial health. Youth activity, participation, quality of life (QOL), coping, anxiety and depression, and caregiver mental health were included.Methods: Data were collected as part of a prospective study of 420 youth with SCI ages 1-18 and their primary caregivers. Activity data were also presented from a study developing a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) platform with 226 youth with SCI ages 8-21.Results: Although relationships varied by factor, youth outcomes were related to youth age, sex, age at injury/injury duration, and level/extent of injury. Caregiver mental health related to child age and age at injury. Further, relationships were uncovered between aspects of psychosocial health: aspects of youth mental health were related to youth participation and QOL, youth coping was related to youth mental health, participation, and QOL, and caregiver mental health was related to child mental health and QOL.Conclusion: Psychosocial outcomes relate to each other and vary by child and injury-related factors and should be understood in a comprehensive, developmental context. Identifying best measures of activity and psychosocial functioning among youth with SCI and understanding factors related to their psychosocial health is critical to improving outcomes for the pediatric-onset SCI population.
Psychosocial Outcomes Among Youth with Spinal Cord Injury and Their Primary Caregivers
Erin Kelly, Mary Mulcahey, Sara Klaas, Heather Russell, Caroline Anderson, Lawrence Vogel; Psychosocial Outcomes Among Youth with Spinal Cord Injury and Their Primary Caregivers. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil 1 January 2012; 18 (1): 67–72. doi: https://doi.org/10.1310/sci1801-67
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