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Impact of Pressure Ulcers on Individuals Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

Published:August 26, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2014.08.003

      Highlights

      • We examined the impact of pressure ulcers in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).
      • Pressure ulcers reduce the ability of individuals with SCI to participate in community and daily activities.
      • Individuals with pressure ulcers are dissatisfied with their ability to participate.
      • Quality of life is lower in individuals with SCI with pressure ulcers.
      • Health care utilization is high among individuals with pressure ulcers.

      Abstract

      Objective

      To describe the impact of pressure ulcers on the ability to participate in daily and community activities, health care utilization, and overall quality of life in individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

      Design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting

      Nationwide survey.

      Participants

      Participants (N=1137) with traumatic SCI who were >1 year postinjury and living in the community were recruited. Of these, 381 (33.5%, 95% confidence interval, 30.8%–36.3%) had a pressure ulcer over the last 12 months.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Measures developed for the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry Community Follow-up Survey Version 2.0.

      Results

      Of the 381 individuals with pressure ulcers, 65.3% reported that their pressure ulcer reduced their activity to some extent or more. Pressure ulcers reduced the ability of individuals with SCI to participate in 19 of 26 community and daily activities. Individuals with 1 or 2 pressure ulcers were more dissatisfied with their ability to participate in their main activity than those without pressure ulcers (P=.0077). Pressure ulcers were also associated with a significantly higher number of consultations with family doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, and wound care nurses/specialists (P<.05).

      Conclusions

      Pressure ulcers have a significant impact on the daily life of individuals with SCI. Our findings highlight the importance of implementing pressure ulcer prevention and management programs for this high-risk population and require the attention of all SCI-related health care professionals.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      ADL (activities of daily living), AIS (ASIA Impairment Scale), CI (confidence interval), QOL (quality of life), RR (relative risk), SCI (spinal cord injury)
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