Post-traumatic growth following spinal cord injury

Short Title:
Post-traumatic growth following spinal cord injury
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2014, vol. 1, issue 37, pp 218-225
Publication Website:
Study examined the relationship of depression and personal and injury characteristics to post-traumatic psychological growth (PTG) in 824 adults with spinal cord injury (SCI). PTG was measured using the Post-traumatic Growth Inventory, reflecting positive change after injury in life priorities, closeness to others, new opportunities being available, stronger faith, and personal strength. Depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire. Demographic and injury characteristics were also collected from participants. Initial structural equation model testing of a conceptual model of personal and injury characteristics, violent etiology, depression, and PTG resulted in a poor fit. Model modifications resulted in an improved fit, but explained only 5 percent of the variance in PTG. Being female, younger, having less formal education, and less time since injury had significant relationships with PTG, whereas depression, violent etiology, and injury level/severity did not. In each PTG domain, between 54 and 79 percent of the sample reported at least some positive change after injury. The results explained only a small portion of the variance in PTG. A majority of the sample experienced some positive change after injury, with the greatest change in discovering that they were stronger than they thought they were. Comparing means previously reported in a non-SCI sample of those who experienced trauma, positive change after injury was comparable for each PTG item except for new opportunities being available, which was significantly lower for those with SCI. Future directions of research include the development of theoretical models of PTG after SCI.
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