Prevalence and Correlates of Secondary and Comorbid Conditions Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

This study aims to estimate the prevalence of and examine correlates of secondary conditions related to SCI (spinal cord injury) and assess the impact of those conditions on life satisfaction, hospitalizations, and community participation. It also aims to estimate the frequency of co-morbid conditions and the demographic, injury, and psychosocial factors associated with their development in this population.

This pilot study included two sub-studies, conducted between 2011 and 2014. These were entitled, “Prevalence and Correlates of Secondary and Comorbid Conditions Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury” and, “Comorbidities Amongst Adults with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries”. The first of these, analyzed extant data from the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems and a linked study conducted by a subset of funded Model Systems. Prevalence of comorbid and secondary conditions were evaluated and models were developed to explain the onset of secondary conditions, mortality and low quality of life (QOL). The second sub-study conducted interviews with a cohort of persons at various stages of aging with spinal cord injury (SCI) and examined the relationships between comorbidities, secondary conditions, aging issues, mood and QOL. Supplementary funds were obtained so that these interviews could be repeated approximately one year later. While no grant application has been written as a result of this pilot study, the investigators have led an effort to collect further pilot data at a number of sites across the US on secondary and comorbid conditions in SCI. When this data is finished being collected and analyzed, it is expected that it will lead to expanded data collection on these conditions within the SCI Model Systems. It is likely that this will also lead to efforts to obtain further funding for multi-site study addressing aging and health issues in the SCI population.