Race, employment, and spinal cord injury Academic Article uri icon


  • To examine issues of employment and race for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), by assessing the type of work that was being done before and after injury and by placing this in the context of patterns for the general population.Retrospective, cross-sectional analysis.Centers funded as part of the federally sponsored Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems (MSCIS) Project.Two samples: 5925 African Americans and whites with SCI who are part of the MSCIS and a subset of 577 people with SCI.Not applicable.Demographic information, occupational status, employment rate, job census codes, Craig Hospital Assessment and Reporting Technique-Short Form, and Satisfaction With Life Scale.Racial disparities were found in employment rates before injury and at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years after SCI. Differences were also found in the types of jobs that were held before SCI with patterns for participants similar to those of African Americans and whites in the general population. No differences were found in the types of jobs held by African Americans and whites with SCI at 1 year after injury. After injury, African Americans had lower economic self-sufficiency scores, regardless of employment status, and lower social integration scores among those who were not employed.Racial disparities found in employment patterns among persons with SCI mirrored patterns among the general population.

publication date

  • November 2004

has subject area