In addition, information on basic demographic and injury related items as well as information on living arrangements and social activities will be collected to determine which of these items if any, are related to scores on measures of coherence, loneliness, and psychosocial adjustment. A convenience sample of approximately 50 subjects, who are at least two months past the intial diagnosis of a spinal cord injury, will be recruited in the out-patient clinic of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Interested subjects will be asked to complete a demographic data sheet, the orientation to Life Questionnaire, the U.C.L.A. Loneliness Scale (version 3), and the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (self-report version). Depending upon patient census, willingness to participate, and time constraints; the investigator will be present in the out-patient department at least three days a week for six to twelve weeks.
The major premise of this study is that a sizable number of individuals adjust favorably to spinal cord injury. The intent of the study is to identify the various strengths of these individuals including their philosophical outlooks on life(the sense of coherence)and their social environments including contacts with supportive others via family, friends, recreational, and vocational affiliations as globally measured by the lonliness scale. Previous research also emphasizes the significant role that lonliness plays in adjustment. Those individuals who rate their adjustment as poor are characterized by social isolation, dependency, and self-neglect. Another premise of the study, however, is that adjustment is highly variable and on-going. As a result of this premise, a potential benefit of this study would be to identify those individuals whose adjustment could be facilitated by greater participation in social, recreational, educational, and vocational activities. In this regard, the potential benefits of the study greatly out weigh any possible risks.
The variables in the dataset include: