Greener on the other side? an analysis of the association between residential greenspace and psychological well-being among people living with spinal cord injury in the United States

Lauren F. Murphy*, Claire Kalpakjian, Susan Charlifue, Allen W. Heinemann, Mary Slavin, Tanya Rohrbach, David S. Tulsky, Amanda L. Botticello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Study design: Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from a multisite survey study. Objectives: To describe associations between residential greenspace and psychological well-being among adults living with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: Community. Methods: Participants were from the Spinal Cord Injury-Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) Calibration Study (N = 313). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis was used to define five- and half-mile buffer areas around participants’ residential addresses to represent community and neighborhood environments, respectively, and to create measures of natural and developed open greenspace. Associations of greenspace measures with two SCI-QOL psychological well-being domains (positive affect and depressive symptoms) were modeled using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, adjusted for demographic, injury-related, and community socioeconomic characteristics. Results: People living in a community with a moderate amount of natural greenspace reported less positive affect and more depressive symptoms compared to people living in a community with low natural greenspace. At the neighborhood level, a moderate amount of developed open space was associated with less positive affect and more depressive symptoms than a low amount of developed open space. Conclusions: Contrary to expectations, residential greenspace had a negative relationship with psychological well-being in this sample of adults with SCI. Understanding how and why natural spaces are associated with quality of life for people with mobility disabilities can influence public policy and urban planning designs to ensure that residential greenspaces are accessible and beneficial to all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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