Quality of Life Among Veterans With Chronic Spinal Cord Injury and Related Variables


1 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, IR Iran

2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, USA



In recent decades, the incidence of spinal cord injuries has increased. In a systemic review on epidemiology of traumatic spinal cord injury in developing countries reported 25.5/million cases per year.

To assess the quality of life (QOL) of the veterans among Iran-Iraq war with chronic spinal cord injuries (SCI) and to evaluate long-term impressions of SCI on their quality of life.

Patients and Methods
Fifty-two veterans, all male, with chronic spinal cord injury from Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) were interviewed and examined. The mean age of veterans at the time of interview was 49.3 years (38 to 80 years). Veterans were assessed by using a 36-item short-form (SF-36), hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) and the Barthel index. The presence or absence of pressure sores and spasticity were documented as well.

The mean age of veterans at the time of study was 49.3 years. Pearson's correlation test showed that depression and anxiety have a reverse association with mental component summary (MCS) scale and physical component summary (PCS) scale scores, respectively. Regression analysis showed a negative effect of depression and pressure sore on PCS. Moreover, no association was found between the duration of injury and age with quality of life.

Lower QOL was found among veterans with chronic SCI. More researches on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are needed to give us a better understanding of changes in life of patients with SCI and the ways to improve them.