Retrospective cohort study.
To explore differences between veterans and nonveterans with spinal cord injury (SCI) for employment, health, and satisfaction with life outcomes after controlling for demographic and injury characteristics.
Hospitals in the Spinal Cord Injury Model System of care.
A total of 9754 (85% nonveterans and 15% veterans) adults with traumatic SCI interviewed from 2000 and 2015 and completed follow-up years 1, 5, and 10 were included in this study. Employment status and the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique-Short Form (CHART-SF) measured employment. The SF-36 for self-perceived health status, CHART-SF, and rehospitalization determined health outcomes. Satisfaction with life was measured by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Secondary data analyses using χ2, t-tests, and generalized estimating equations (GEEs) model to determine group differences with control of demographic and injury characteristics.
There were no significant differences for employment and SWL between nonveterans and veterans. There were some differences in health outcomes; whereas, veterans had better physical independence and mobility compared with nonveterans.
Interventions for both groups should target adults with a disability from SCI, be customized for varying levels of injury that address differences in healthcare systems, demographic backgrounds, economic resources, disincentives, and motivation.
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The contents of this publication were developed with grants (grant nos 90SI5016 and 90SI5002) from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations concerning the ethical use of human volunteers for this database were followed before this information was used as secondary data to conduct this research.
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