Model System:


Reference Type:


Accession No.:


Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 98, 12, 2385-2392

Publication Website:



Objectives: To examine (1) differences in quality-of-life scores for groups based on transitions in locomotion status at 1, 5, and 10 years postdischarge in a sample of people with spinal cord injury (SCI); and (2) whether demographic factors and transitions in locomotion status can predict quality-of-life measures at these time points.

Design: Retrospective case study of the National SCI Database.

Setting: Model SCI Systems Centers.

Participants: Individuals with SCI (N=10,190) from 21 SCI Model Systems Centers, identified through the National SCI Model Systems Centers database between the years 1985 and 2012. Subjects had FIM (locomotion mode) data at discharge and at least 1 of the following: 1, 5, or 10 years postdischarge.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures: FIM–locomotion mode; Severity of Depression Scale; Satisfaction With Life Scale; and Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique.

Results: Participants who transitioned from ambulation to wheelchair use reported lower participation and life satisfaction, and higher depression levels (P<.05) than those who maintained their ambulatory status. Participants who transitioned from ambulation to wheelchair use reported higher depression levels (P<.05) and no difference for participation (P>.05) or life satisfaction (P>.05) compared with those who transitioned from wheelchair to ambulation. Demographic factors and locomotion transitions predicted quality-of-life scores at all time points (P<.05).

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that transitioning from ambulation to wheelchair use can negatively impact psychosocial health 10 years after SCI. Clinicians should be aware of this when deciding on ambulation training. Further work to characterize who may be at risk for these transitions is needed.


Hiremath SV, Hogaboom NS, Roscher MR, Worobey LA, Oyster ML, Boninger ML