Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Pflaum, C., McCollister, G., Strauss, D.J., Shavelle, R.M., & DeVivo, M.J. (2006). Worklife after traumatic spinal cord injury. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 29 (4), 377-386.
Title:  Worklife after traumatic spinal cord injury
Authors:  Pflaum, C., McCollister, G., Strauss, D.J., Shavelle, R.M., & DeVivo, M.J.
Year:  2006
Journal/Publication:  The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  Previous research into the worklife of persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI) relied on flawed methodology. The use of databases with self-reported disability data leads to inherent problems with the data. The current study aimed to use an objective dataset with a medical measure of physical condition in order to address a research question not previously discussed in the literature.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to estimate worklife expectancy after SCI and to establish a model for doing so for future research.
Study sample:  The sample consisted of individuals enrolled in the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center database from 1973-2000. The sample included 20,143 individuals that were mostly white (72%), male (82%), and possessed a high school diploma as the highest level of education (61%).
Control or comparison condition:  Post injury employment rates and worklife expectancy were the comparison conditions.
Data collection and analysis:  Data was collected during initial hospitalization and during an annual evaluation-thus it was tracked longitudinally. Data related to demographics, injury, and employment status was collected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the target variables.
Findings:  Being younger, white, more educated, married, having a non-violent cause of SCI, having a previous employment history, and other factors were all associated with higher employment rate.
Conclusions:  The favorable characteristics described in the findings improve worklife for individuals for SCI.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition