Symptom Burden in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury

Mark P. Jensen, Carrie M. Kuehn, Dagmar Amtmann, Diane D. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Jensen MP, Kuehn CM, Amtmann D, Cardenas DD. Symptom burden in persons with spinal cord injury. Objective: To determine (1) the frequency, severity, and reported course of 7 symptoms in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and (2) the association between these symptoms and patient functioning. Design: Postal survey. Setting: Community. Intervention: A survey that included measures of the frequency, severity, and recalled course of pain, fatigue, numbness, weakness, shortness of breath, vision loss, and memory loss, as well as a measure of community integration and psychologic functioning was mailed to a sample of persons with SCI. One hundred forty-seven usable surveys were returned (response rate, 43% of surveys mailed). Main Outcome Measures: The frequency and average severity of each symptom was computed, and the frequencies of each type of reported course were noted. Analyses estimated the associations among the symptoms, and between symptom severity and measures of patient functioning. Results: The most common symptoms were pain, weakness, fatigue, and numbness. All symptoms were reported to remain the same or to get worse more often than they were reported to improve once they began. Pain, weakness, fatigue, and memory loss were the symptoms most closely associated with patient functioning. Conclusions: Patients with SCI must deal with a number of secondary complications in addition to any disability caused by the injury itself. Of 7 symptoms studied, pain, weakness, and fatigue appeared to be most common and most closely linked to patient social and mental health functioning. Research is needed to identify the causal relationships between perceived symptoms and quality of life in patients with SCI and to identify effective treatments for those symptoms shown to impact patient functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-645
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Volume88
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Rehabilitation
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Symptom Burden in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this