LIFE SATISFACTION OF PERSONS WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY COMPARED TO A POPULATION GROUP
Marcel W. M. Post, Alphons J. Van Dijk, Floris W. A. Van Asbeck and August J. P. Schrijvers
Life satisfaction is thought to be the subjective part of quality of life, i.e. the feelings of the persons concerned about their functioning and circumstances. In this study, life satisfaction of spinal cordinjured persons living in the community is compared to life satisfaction of a population group. Respondents were a nationwide sample of 318 persons with spinal cord injury (response 60%) and 507 inhabitants of a large city in The Netherlands (response 42%). Life satisfaction was measured using the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, containing one question about general life satisfaction and eight questions about domain-specific life satisfaction. Mean scores of general life satisfaction and of satisfaction with self-care ability, leisure situation, vocational situation and sexual life were lower in persons with spinal cord injury than in the population group, but satisfaction with family life was higher. However, differences in general life satisfaction, satisfaction with leisure situation and with vocational situation could be attributed to differences in the composition of both groups. Satisfaction with self-care ability was lower in persons with tetraplegia than in persons with paraplegia, but we found no differences in other questions. Several relationships between life satisfaction and age andmarital status existed, but they were more pronounced in the population group than in the group of persons with spinal cord injury.Time after injury and cause of injury were not related to life satisfaction variables. Uniformity in measurement instruments would facilitate comparisons between studies.
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