Employment participation following spinal cord injury: Relation to selected participant demographic, injury and psychological characteristics Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between selected demographic, injury and psychological characteristics and the extent of employment undertaken following spinal cord injury (SCI). METHOD: Data were collected from 289 persons with SCI who found employment post-injury. A survey was administered to patients of a specialist spinal cord injury unit located in South-Eastern Australia. A variety of demographic, injury and psychological variables were assessed for their relationship to the extent of employment undertaken following SCI. Extent of employment, was defined as time spent employed as a proportion of the time available for employment, and is hereafter referred to as "workrate." RESULTS: On average, participants reported having been employed for almost two-thirds of their available time. Study variables explained 22% (18% adjusted) of the variance in post-injury workrate. Individually, demographic and psychological variables, but not injury variables, were found to relate to the outcome measure. CONCLUSION: Using a novel measure of employment outcome, this study yielded findings consistent with other research using alternate employment measures. Results suggest that demographic and psychological variables are more related to this measure of employment participation than are injury variables. The addition of environmental variables may allow for the explanation of more variance in outcome.

publication date

  • January 2005