The Nature of Social Support Available to People Living with Spinal Cord Injury Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the nature of the social support received by persons following spinal cord injury (SCI). Social support was assessed through use of an abridged version of the ISEL scale (Cohen et al., 1985), a self-report measure of perceived support. Seventy persons who had been living in the community at least one year post discharge from hospital provided information about four types of support received — instrumental, emotional, informational, and appraisal social support. The aim of this study was to identify whether there were any significant differences in the perceived availability of the four types of social support. Analyses revealed that overall there were significant (p < .05) perceived differences in the average availability of the four separate types of support, with Instrumental support being seen as the most available. Taken together, these findings support the usefulness of measuring separately the different types of social support perceived to be available to individuals, and thus hold important implications for the rehabilitation effort following SCI.

publication date

  • January 2002