Attribution of responsibility for injury and long-term outcome of patients with paralytic spinal cord trauma.
STUDY DESIGN: Survey. OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between patients' perceptions of responsibility for the injury and long term outcomes. SETTING: Duke University Medical Center Spinal Injury Service. METHODS: One hundred and forty patients, who suffered spinal cord injuries between 1985 and 1990, were selected to participate in the study, and 26 (19%), including eight with quadriplegia, completed a telephone interview. The mean age at interview was 39+/-12 years and 12% were women. The mean time from injury to completion of the study was 8.7+/-1.5 years. Attribution of cause of injury, the Craig Handicap Assessment Reporting Technique, and the SF36 mental health depression/vitality surveyed instruments attribution of responsibility for the injury, functional capacity, mental health depression, and vitality. RESULTS: The majority (18/26) of patients either totally blamed themselves or others for their injuries. Overall, there was no statistically significant association between attribution of injury and long-term outcomes. Outcomes were similar in patients who either totally blamed themselves or others for their predicament. CONCLUSION: In this study, long-term outcomes were not influenced by whether patients perceived themselves as being responsible for their injuries.
Brown, K; Bell, MH; Maynard, C; Richardson, W; Wagner, GS
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