Trajectories of Life Satisfaction After Spinal Cord Injury

Christopher R. Pretz*, Allan J. Kozlowski, Yuying Chen, Susan Charlifue, Allen Walter Heinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective To describe individual-level temporal change in life satisfaction after spinal cord injury. Design Individual growth curve (IGC) analysis of prospectively collected data from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research National Spinal Cord Injury Database (NSCID). Setting Multicenter, longitudinal database study. Participants Participants (N=4846) in the NSCID. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure Rasch-transformed Satisfaction With Life Scale scores. Results Individual-level trajectories reflecting life satisfaction vary extensively and are associated with demographic and injury-related characteristics. Demographic characteristics include race, sex, pre-employment and discharge marital status, and level of education; injury-related factors include days in rehabilitation, neurologic level, age at injury, and injury etiology. Results are displayed graphically by way of a computer-generated interactive tool and represent different trajectories of individual-level changes in life satisfaction. Conclusions IGC methodology allows researchers and clinicians to anticipate patient-specific trajectories through use of an automated interactive tool. Projected trajectories hold promise in facilitating planning for inpatient and outpatient services, which could enhance long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1706-1713.e1
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Longitudinal studies
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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