Impact of demographic and medical factors on satisfaction with life after spinal cord injury: A normative study

Academic Article


  • Objective: The aim of this study was (1) to examine demographic and medical predictors of the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) and (2) to provide a normative table for the SWLS that includes appropriate adjustments for the most important predictors of life satisfaction. Study Design: We examined predictors of the SWLS including age, education, sex, race, injury duration, number of rehospitalizations, marital status, employment status, SCI etiology, and level of neurological impairment. Participants: Individuals in the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center database [from 18 SCI model systems (1995-1999)] undergoing follow-up assessment were included for study. Outcome Measure: Satisfaction With Life Scale. Results: Univariate analyses indicated that marital and employment status, race, sex, education, and injury duration were significant factors associated with scores on the SWLS. In general, individuals who were female, white, married, and currently employed and had a higher education and longer injury duration reported significantly higher scores on the SWLS (P < .01). Effect-size estimates for these factors ranged from 0.16 to 0.41. Regression analyses showed that education, employment status, and injury duration were the strongest unique predictors of satisfaction with life but accounted for only 10% of the variance. Conclusion: The SWLS is a global measure of life satisfaction and is relatively unrelated to demographic and medical characteristics. Normative tables are provided for epidemiologic comparison.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dowler R; Richards JS; Putzke JD; Gordon W; Tate D
  • Start Page

  • 87
  • End Page

  • 91
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 2