Access and engagement with places in the community, and the quality of life among people with spinal cord damage
Ali Lakhani, Sanjoti Parekh, David P. Watling, Peter Grimbeek, Ross Duncan, Susan Charlifue & Elizabeth Kendall
Objectives: This study aims to investigate the association between self-reported accessibility and engagement with health services and places in the community, and quality of life (QOL) for people with spinal cord damage (SCD).
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Participants: Two-hundred and sixty-six people with a SCD residing in Australia (Mage = 62.34, SDage = 15.95).
Outcome Measure: The International Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Basic Data Set.
Results: Univariate regressions demonstrated that accessing a higher number of places in the community was significantly associated with favorable self-reported psychological health (β = .160, P < .01), physical health (β = .144, P < .01), overall well-being (β = .206, P < .01), and QOL (β = .187, P < .01). In contrast, reporting a higher number of inaccessible places was significantly associated with unfavorable self-reported psychological health (β = −.171, P < .01), physical health (β = −.270, P < .001), overall well-being (β = −.238, P < .001), and QOL (β = −.244, P < .001). Being older and living with injury or onset of damage longer were significantly associated with favorable scores across all outcomes (P < .01) except physical health.
Conclusions: Community engagement can have a considerable impact on the self-reported health and QOL of people with SCD. Interventions aimed at increasing community engagement, particularly for people who have recently experienced SCD are warranted.