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Symptoms of Depression Over Time in Adults With Pediatric-Onset Spinal Cord Injury

Published:December 05, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2013.11.011

      Abstract

      Objective

      To investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms in adults with pediatric-onset spinal cord injury (SCI) and explore potential risk factors that may be associated with elevated symptoms.

      Design

      Longitudinal, cohort survey over a period of 2 to 9 years. Follow-up occurred approximately every year, a total of 868 interviews were conducted, and most participants contributed to at least 3 waves of data (72%; range, 2–8; mean, 4.34±2.16).

      Setting

      Community.

      Participants

      Adults (N=214; 133 men; mean age at first interview, 29.52±5.21y; range, 24–42y) who sustained an SCI prior to age 19 (mean age at injury, 13.93±4.37y; range, 0–18y). Participants tended to have complete injuries (71%) and tetraplegia (58%).

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Participants completed measures assessing psychosocial functioning, physical independence, participation, and depression at each time point. Multilevel growth modeling analyses were used to explore depression symptoms across time.

      Results

      Depression symptoms at initial status were typically minimal (3.07±.24; 95% confidence interval, 2.6–3.54) but fluctuated significantly over time (P<.01). Several factors emerged as significant predictors of depressive symptoms in the final model, including less community participation (P<.01), incomplete injury (P=.02), hazardous drinking (P=.02), bladder incontinence (P=.01), and pain (P=.03). Within individuals, as bowel accidents (P<.01) and pain increased (P<.01), depression scores increased; however, marriage resulted in decreases in depression scores for individuals (P=.02).

      Conclusions

      These findings suggest that most patients with pediatric-onset SCI are psychologically resilient, but strategies to minimize secondary health complications and foster community participation and engagement should be considered.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      AUDIT-C (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), CHART (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), MDD (major depressive disorder), MLM (multilevel modeling), PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), SCI (spinal cord injury)
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