UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Exploring the Quality of Life of People with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury Who Can Ambulate Jeawon, Murveena; Hase, Bethany; Miller, Susanna; Eng, Janice; Bundon, Andrea; Chaudhury, Habib; Maffin, Jocelyn; Clarkson, Ryan; Wright, Jenna; Mortenson, W. Ben


(1) Purpose: To examine associations between subjective quality of life and other socio-demographic variables and to explore differences in experiences of people with different levels of quality of life (low, moderate, high). (2) Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews and standardized measures of mobility, function, health-related quality-of-life, and quality-of-life were used to collect the data for this mixed-method study. (3) Results: Twenty-four participants were interviewed with an average age of 55 years and 54% were male. High quality of life, according to quantitative analysis, was strongly associated with being male, attending rehabilitation, and being married. The qualitative findings supported the quantitative findings and also revealed that people with a low quality of life felt the neighborhood-built environment was not supportive of people with incomplete spinal cord injury who can walk. Participants who reported a low/moderate quality of life reported feeling devalued by able-bodied people and that their mobility was getting worse over time. (4) Conclusion: Findings suggest that those with incomplete spinal cord injuries who can walk could benefit from improved quality of life by modifying their social support and neighborhood’s built environment. For instance, sensitivity training for the general population could help to reduce negative attitudes and misperceptions about invisible impairments and promote inclusion.

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