Perceived quality of care and outcomes following spinal cord injury: Minority status in the context of multiple predictors

Mark V. Johnston*, Kenneth Wood, Scott Millis, Steve Page, David Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) who are members of minority groups experience a disadvantage with regard to quality of care, and investigate predictors of perceived quality of care and indicators of outcome. Design: Correlational analysis of longitudinal data. Sample: One hundred and forty-three individuals with SCI in the first year following injury (43.3% tetraplegia, 56.7% paraplegia; 53.6% of total had complete injuries). Setting: Hospital and postdischarge (usually outpatient) care at 3 SCI model systems. Main Outcome Measures: Perceived quality of acute, rehabilitative, and continuing care rated by patients according to standard format. Objective indicators of amount of care (eg, length of stay [LOS], charges) and outcomes (eg, medical complications, Functional Independence Measure [FIM] scores, a life satisfaction measure [the Diener Scale], and the Craig Handicap and Reporting Technique [CHART; a community participation scale]). Results: Minorities did not report statistically significant differences in perceived quality of care or other indicators (eg, amount of care, medical complications, FIM gain, life satisfaction, and CHART scores) compared with other groups. Severity of injury affected LOS and activity outcomes. Satisfaction with medical care before the injury significantly predicted perceived quality of acute hospital care, inpatient rehabilitation, and continuing care (P < 0.03, 0.02, and 0.02, respectively). Conclusion: A number of factors may affect variations in perceived quality of care and outcomes, but ethnicity is not always the most important predictor. Asking patients about their satisfaction with previous care can assist in distinguishing satisfaction with current care from pre-existing biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Ethnic groups
  • Minority groups
  • Outcomes
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Quality of care
  • Race
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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