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Europa Medicophysica 1999 June;35(2):49-59


lingua: Inglese

Family, vocational and social reintegration of spinal cord injured patients following discharge from a rehabilitation centre

Lotta S., Nora M., Boselli M., Bocchi R., Nicolotti D.

“G. Verdi” Rehabilitation Centre, Villanova sull’Arda (PC), Azienda USL - Piacenza, Italy


BACKGROUND: The aim of ­this ­study was to eval­u­ate the ­social, voca­tion­al and fam­i­ly rein­te­gra­tion of a sam­ple of 50 spi­nal ­cord ­injured ­patients fol­low­ing dis­charge ­from a Rehabilitation Centre. Recent ­data in the lit­er­a­ture indi­cate ­that the qual­ity of ­life (QoL or QL) of SCI sub­jects is strong­ly relat­ed to main­te­nance of ­self, mobil­ity, exchang­es of infor­ma­tion, ­social rela­tion­ships, edu­ca­tion, ­work, lei­sure ­time, finan­cial ­life, civ­il and ­social ­life. With ref­er­ence to the ­data ­from the lit­er­a­ture, we cal­cu­lat­ed the per­cent­age of ­patients who ­achieved the con­di­tions ­that ­seemed to influ­ence QL.
METHODS: Included in the ­study ­were 50 ­patients, 36 para­ple­gics and 14 tet­ra­pleg­ics, who had ­been admit­ted to the Centre and dis­charged at ­least 6 ­months pre­vi­ous­ly. The ­patients ­were eval­u­at­ed ­using a ques­tion­naire ­which includ­ed ­items relat­ed to ­their ­state of ­health, fam­i­ly ­life, occu­pa­tion, ­means of eco­nom­ic sup­port, mobil­ity, ­social inte­gra­tion and sub­jec­tive per­cep­tion of QL. Items per­ti­nent to the ­aims of the ­present ­study ­were select­ed ­from ques­tion­naires and eval­u­a­tion ­scales ­present in the lit­er­a­ture.
RESULTS: Results are pre­sent­ed sche­mat­i­cal­ly in ­tables and ­graphs. On the ­whole, the ­data on fam­i­ly rein­te­gra­tion ­were pos­i­tive ­with 100% of the sam­ple return­ing to ­their nucle­ar fam­i­ly. Vocational rein­te­gra­tion rep­re­sents a ­still ­unsolved prob­lem: the num­ber of ­employed sub­jects ­decreased ­from 66 to 28% and ­only 16% of the ­patients ­were finan­cial­ly inde­pen­dent. The eval­u­a­tion of ­social rein­te­gra­tion is com­plex in ­that it is affect­ed by var­i­ous fac­tors, objec­tive and sub­jec­tive, ­able to accen­tu­ate or less­en the ­impact of the dis­abil­ity on an ­individual’s ­life. One note­wor­thy find­ing was ­that the ­degree of sat­is­fac­tion ­with QL (VAS) was sim­i­lar in the para­ple­gics and tet­ra­pleg­ics, irre­spec­tive of the ­lesion lev­el.
CONCLUSIONS: The ­data yield­ed ­from the ­present ­study pro­vide us ­with a gen­er­al ­view of the ­social, voca­tion­al and fam­i­ly rein­te­gra­tion of the 50 sub­jects con­sid­ered. The ­present ­approach ­allowed us to deter­mine the achieve­ment of ­goals ­such as the ­return to fam­i­ly ­life, ­work and the com­mu­nity, all of ­which are con­sid­ered deter­mi­nant ele­ments of a sat­is­fac­to­ry QL, and under­score the impor­tance of pur­su­ing func­tion­al ­goals dur­ing hos­pi­tal­isa­tion as ­their achieve­ment facil­i­tates rein­te­gra­tion fol­low­ing dis­charge.

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