The consequences of shoulder pain intensity on quality of life and community participation in paraplegic wheelchair users
1 National Rehabilitation Centre “Vaivari”, Latvia
2 Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
Background/Objective: Shoulder overuse due weight-bearing loads – wheelchair propulsion and transfers – are supposed to cause shoulder pain in active wheelchair users. Consequently, shoulder pain has been found to have a high prevalence in the spinal cord-injured population. Severity of pain levels in individuals with spinal cord injury has been shown to impact quality of life. Aim of this study was to describe the consequences of shoulder pain intensity on quality of life, physical activity, and community activities in spinal cord-injured paraplegic wheelchair users. Materials and Methods: It was a qualitative, analytical one moment study where was involved persons after spinal cord injury below Th1 with lower paraplegia, who used manually operated wheelchairs for mobility at least 50% of the time. Main outcomes measure: SF-36textregistered Health Survey, Physical Activity Scale for Individuals With Physical Disabilities, Community Activities Checklist, Wheelchair User’s Shoulder Pain Index, Functional Independence Measure, Goniometry for shoulder joint. Results and analysis: 40 participants (9 female, 31 male) after spinal cord injury (SCI), mean age – 30,8 years, one to twenty years after spinal cord injury. 20 participants had pain in shoulder, 20 participants without pain in shoulder. The intensity of shoulder pain was not related to duration of SCI or the duration of shoulder pain. Shoulder pain intensity scores were inversely related to quality of life. There was a moderate, inverse relationship between shoulder pain intensity and physical activity. There was no relationship, however, between shoulder pain intensity and community activities. The level of community activity was positively related to quality of life. Conclusions: Persons with spinal cord injury who reported lower subjective quality of life and physical activity scores experienced significantly higher levels of shoulder pain. Shoulder pain intensity did not relate to their participation in community activities.
Key words: spinal cord injuries / paraplegia / shoulder pain / wheelchair / quality of life
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
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