Document Type: Special Articles

Authors

1 Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Psychiatry, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Abstract

Background: Health-related quality-of-life (HR-QOL) may be affected by various factors including injury-related characteristics among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the impact of the influence of these variables has not yet been fully described in Iranian population. Here, we assessed the relationships between injury-related characteristics and HR-QOL among Iranian people with SCI.Methods: HR-QOL was assessed using short-form health survey (SF-36). Referred patients to Brain and Spinal Injury Research Center between 2010 and 2012 were invited to participate in this investigation. Injury-related characteristics including injury level and completeness, time since injury, plegia type, and American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale were evaluated.Results: Total of 104 patients (85 men and 19 women) entered the study. The majority of patients had a complete injury (77.9%). The most frequent ASIA score was A (75%), and the most common level of injury was at thoracic sections (61.5%). Lower injury levels were associated with higher scores in physical component summary (P = 0.040), mental component summary (P = 0.010) and subsequently total score (P = 0.006). Mean age and time since injury were 52.58 ± 12.69 and 10.88 ± 16.68 years, respectively, and were not related with HR-QOL (P = 0.70 and 0.220, respectively). There was no difference in terms of HR-QOL between patients with complete and incomplete injury. Paraplegic individuals had significantly higher scores in the domain of physical functioning compared to patients with tetraplegia (P = 0.007).Conclusion: lower injury level is a significant predictor of better QOL among individuals with SCI whereas other injury-related characteristics including completeness, time since injury and plegia type may not influence HR-QOL.