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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


FERREIRA, Mariana  and  GUERRA, Marina Prista. Adjustment to spinal cord injury. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2014, vol.15, n.2, pp.380-395. ISSN 1645-0086.

Patients with spinal cord injuries face not only physical but also psychological changes that can have an impact on quality of life. This study aims to analyze some psychological variables such as happiness, meaning of life, social support and depression as well as to explore their impact on quality of life of patients following spinal cord injury and their distribution according to sociodemographic and clinical data. The study sample was collected in an hospital in the Porto region and it is comprised by 33 patients diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. The evaluation instruments that were used were the Happiness Scale, the Meaning of Life subscale of the Self-Actualization Scale, The Social Support Evaluation Scale, The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Short Health Questionnaire SF36 (physical and mental components) and a sociodemographic and clinical questionnaire. The analysis revealed satisfactory results in the variables evaluated when compared to other clinical samples. Also, moderate positive correlations were found between happiness and social support with quality of life and moderate negative correlations were found between depression and quality of life. Despite no direct correlation was observed between meaning of life and quality of life, there was a moderate positive correlation with social support, strong positive correlation with happiness and strong negative correlation with depression. According to the predictive models applied for the factors of the quality of life scale, the stronger predictors of the physical and mental components of quality of life are, respectively, happiness and social support.

Keywords : spinal cord injury; happiness; meaning of life; social support; depression; quality of life.

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