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International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology

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Bedsores -- Research -- United States, Bedsores -- Prevention, Spinal cord -- Wounds and injuries, Depression -- Psychology, Rehabilitation counseling


Pressure sores are a preventable, but common, secondary complication of a spinal cord injury (SCI). Research is limited concerning the influence of psychological factors in the development of pressure sores. The purpose of our ex post facto study was to examine the role that emotional responses and coping strategies play in moderating the relationships between demographic and SCI-related medical variables and the frequency and severity of pressure sores. Ninety-five individuals, who sustained a sudden-onset SCI, completed a self-report questionnaire sent to the population of patients that received post-injury rehabilitation services at a rehabilitation center in the southern U.S. Multiple regression analyses indicated that depression significantly predicted pressure sore severity, whereas disengagement-coping significantly predicted pressure sore occurrence (although in the opposite direction than expected). An interaction of time since injury and depression influenced both pressure sore occurrence and severity. These results have important implications for rehabilitation professionals in the clinical evaluation and treatment of persons with SCI.


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Originally published in International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology

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