Category: Spinal Cord Injury; Geriatric Rehabilitation
Objective : As the number of adults aging with spinal cord injury (SCI) grows, understanding the factors that contribute to healthy and positive aging is increasingly important. The objective of this research is to examine the role of environmental factors for participation in daily life among adults aging with SCI.
Design : Cross-sectional telephone survey of adults aging with SCI in Michigan.
Setting : Community
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Convenience sample recruited through the University of Michigan SCI Research Registry, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI), and research and community sites in Detroit, MI. Inclusion criteria: community dwelling adults age >44 years, living with a SCI for at least ten years post injury.
Interventions : Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Participation was assessed with the SCI-QOL Satisfaction with Social Roles and Activities Scale1. The Facilitators and Barriers Survey for Mobility (FABS-M)2 assessed environmetal factors for participation. Functional capacity was assessed with the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI/AT) Basic Mobility3.
Results : Thirty-eight participants have been interviewed to date. Mean age was 59 years (range 46-75 years), 82% male, with an average of 27 years since injury (range 11-51 years). Environmental factors were reported as both facilitators and barriers for participation. Curb cuts (68%) and ramps (63%) were identified as facilitating community participation. Conversely, crowds (68%), escalators (30%), and inaccessible public restrooms (50%) were identified as limiting community participation. In multiple linear regression inaccessible public restrooms (p
Findings provide insights into targeting community resources to facilitate the full participation of the growing number of Americans aging with SCI.
Philippa Clarke– Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Elizabeth Riedman– Research Associate, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Haley Scott– Research Associate, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Martin Forchheimer– Senior Research Associate, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michelle Meade– Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Denise Tate– Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan