Trajectories and predictors of the course of mental health after spinal cord injury

C.M. van Leeuwen, T. Hoekstra, C.F. van Koppenhagen, S. de Groot, M.W. Post

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Abstract

van Leeuwen CM, Hoekstra T, van Koppenhagen CF, de Groot S, Post MW. Trajectories and predictors of the course of mental health after spinal cord injury. Objective: To study the course and predictors of mental health in the period between the start of active spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation and 5 years after discharge. The hypothesis was that different mental health trajectories would be identified. Design: Multicenter prospective cohort study with measurements at the start of active rehabilitation, after 3 months, at discharge, 1, 2, and 5 years after discharge. Setting: Eight Dutch rehabilitation centers with specialized SCI units. Participants: Persons (N=206) with recently acquired SCI aged between 18 and 65 years. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: The 5-item Mental Health Index with a total score between 0 (lowest mental health) and 100 (highest mental health). Results: Levels of mental health increased between the start of active rehabilitation and 3 months later, remained stable thereafter, and increased again between 2 and 5 years after discharge. Latent class growth mixture modeling revealed 5 trajectories: (1) high scores (above 80) at all time-points (52%), (2) low scores (≤60) at all time-points (4%), (3) early recovery from 40 to scores above 70 (13%), (4) intermediate scores from 60 to scores above 70 (29%), and (5) severe deterioration of scores above 70 to scores below 30 (2%). Pain, sex, and education level were predictors to distinguish between the 5 trajectories. Conclusions: Five different mental health trajectories were identified between the start of active rehabilitation and 5 years after discharge. About one third of the persons with SCI still perceived moderate to severe mental health problems 5 years after discharge. Pain, sex, and education level only predicted a small part of the variance in mental health trajectories. © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2170-2176
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Volume93
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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