Factors predicting resilience in people with spinal cord injury during transition from inpatient rehabilitation to the community

This study aimed to determine factors that predict resilience in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation and after reintegration into the community 6 months post discharge. This study was conducted in SCI rehabilitation units and the community in New South Wales, Australia. Participants included 88 adults with SCI admitted over almost 3 years into three SCI Units in Sydney. Standardized self-report and clinician-based measures were used. Longitudinal assessment occurred up to 6 months post discharge. Sociodemographic, injury and psychological variables were assessed at admission, before discharge and 6 months post discharge. Standard multiple regression was used to determine factors that predict resilience at discharge from hospital and 6 months post discharge. Almost 70% of the participants were classified as resilient at discharge and 66% after 6 months of living in the community. A number of factors significantly predicted resilience at discharge and 6 months post discharge, including self-efficacy, low levels of negative mood and lower functional independence, whereas social support and low severity of secondary conditions trended to significance. Demographic and injury variables did not contribute significantly.

Self-efficacy and low levels of negative mood states contributed strongly to resilience. The determination of these predictors will aid in improving rehabilitation programs to improve the resilience of people with SCI. However, given that 40-44% of the variance in resilience was explained by the group of factors entered, future longitudinal research is needed to determine not only whether resilience correlates but also whether these associations change over time.

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