Objective: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and their complications remain a major source of morbidity and mortality after spinal cord injury (SCI). There has been much investigation into the physiological changes in persons with SCI and how these predispose to the development of UTIs, but other potentially influential variables are not so well understood. The purpose of this study is to examine behavioral, social, and functional factors and their relationship with UTIs. Our hypothesis is that lower UTI frequency will be associated with higher functional abilities, increased productivity, and higher life satisfaction scores. Design: Respondents to a mailed questionnaire reported information on demographics, bladder management methods, functioning, productivity, and life satisfaction. Patients: A volunteer sample from a list of all people with SCI previously treated at a university medical center rehabilitation medicine SCI inpatient service and/or outpatient SCI clinic from 1991 through 1994. Results: There were 81 (35%) responses to 229 received mailings. Mean reported UTIs were 1.37 (SD = 2.66) per year and 4.77 (SD = 6.70) over a 3-year period. UTIs per year and total UTIs over 3 years were negatively associated with functioning and productivity (number of hours worked per week), but were not associated with life satisfaction scores. Conclusion: As a result of this study there is an improved understanding of social and functional variables and how these may correlate with UTI incidence in this population. Further research into these variables is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas