Correlates of self-reported physical function in individuals with spinal cord injuries and disorders: Does self-efficacy matter?

J. N. Hill*, B. Etingen, S. Miskevics, S. L. Lavela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Study design: Data were collected via a cross-sectional mailed survey with Veterans with spinal cord injury and disorders (SCI/D). Objectives: To examine self-efficacy in Veterans with SCI/D reporting high versus low perceptions of physical function. Setting: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Spinal Cord Injury System of Care—nation-wide, 24 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Centers. Methods: The survey provided patient-reported data on demographic and injury characteristics, basic mobility and fine motor function, and perceived self-efficacy. Bivariate comparisons were conducted to compare perceptions of self-efficacy between Veterans with SCI/D reporting perceptions of ‘high’ versus ‘low’ basic mobility and fine motor function. A multivariate logistic regression was conducted to identify factors independently associated with high physical function when controlling for covariates. Results: Response rate (896/1452 = 61.7%). Multivariate analysis showed that age (odds ratio (OR) = 0.98, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96–1.00, P = 0.03), tetraplegia (OR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.13–0.32, P ≤ 0.0001), diabetes (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.31–0.91, P = 0.02), depression (OR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.39–0.98, P = 0.04) and pressure ulcers (OR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.25–0.72, P = 0.001) were all independently associated with lower odds of high physical function. When controlling for covariates, persons with high self-efficacy were nearly two times more likely to have high physical function (OR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.22–3.22, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Lower perceptions of basic mobility and fine motor function among individuals with SCI/D were correlated with lower self-efficacy, even when controlling for other covariates. The relationship between physical function and self-efficacy suggests that interventions focused on improving self-efficacy or physical function may also see improvements in the other. Further, studies exploring the impact of interventions on the relationship between self-efficacy and physical function are needed to understand the relationship between the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1102
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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