Quality of life after spinal cord injury caused by gunshot

J D Putzke, J S Richards, M J DeVivo
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001, 82 (7): 949-54

OBJECTIVE: To determine what effect gunshot-caused spinal cord injury (SCI) has on self-reported quality of life (QOL) and on the frequency of pain sufficient to interfere with day-to-day activities.

DESIGN: Follow-up, case-control design.

SETTING: Analysis of data obtained from the (US) National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center from 18 funded Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems.

PARTICIPANTS: Individuals with traumatic onset SCI (n = 1901). From these, 111 persons with gunshot-caused SCI were matched to persons with nongunshot SCI.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART), Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12), and an individual pain item from the SF-12.

RESULTS: No between-group differences were found on any of the QOL outcome measures. In contrast, those with SCI caused by gunshot reported that pain more frequently interfered with day-to-day activities than the matched comparison group.

CONCLUSIONS: SCI caused by gunshot appears largely unrelated to QOL, after controlling for demographic and medical characteristics associated with this group. Gunshot as a mechanism of SCI may place individuals at an increased risk of subsequent development of pain that interferes with activities of daily living.

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