Are SCI community needs being met after hospital discharge
When a person with SCI leaves the hospital, how successful are they at integrating back into society?
In a recent study, adult patients were tracked from three to eighteen months after hospital discharge. Different levels of satisfaction were reported on physical needs such as accommodation, adaptations and availability of equipment. When appropriate physical resources are delayed or not provided, those with SCI face even higher barriers in transitioning into community living. For example delays in delivery of wheelchairs are the biggest barrier to participation. Vehicle transportation is also a huge issue.
Social participation and interaction is affected by secondary conditions and pain. Employment and leisure sports participation both decline after injury. Chronic pain affects nearly 25 to 45 percent of those with SCI. A substantial number of those with chronic pain find it negatively affects their ability to participate in activities. Nearly all patients report dissatisfaction with their sexual life. Sexual needs and problems remain an issue for the spinal cord injured population and have not been addressed in the community.
One stark statistic is that suicide with the SCI population is two to six times above the norm. Depression and anxiety are often present – with women slightly more anxious than men.
For the full article, see: Kennedy, Sherlok, McClelland, Short, Royle and Wilson, “A multi-centre study of the community needs of people with spinal cord injuries: the first 18 months,” Spinal Cord (2010).