Changes in health-related quality of life among older adults aging with long-term spinal cord injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Study design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal. Objectives: To (i) describe health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and changes over 6 years in older adults aging with long-term spinal cord injury (SCI) and (ii) investigate how changes in HRQoL are associated with age, gender, and injury characteristics. Setting: Community in southern Sweden. Methods: From the initial 123 participants (years 2011–2012) in the Swedish Aging with Spinal Cord Injury Study (SASCIS), 77 individuals (32% women, C1-L3, AIS A–D, median age 66 years, median time since injury 31 years, 30% complete injuries) were assessed 6 years later. HRQoL was rated with the Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Questionnaire (SCI QL-23). Associations were investigated using multivariable linear regression analyses. Results: The median rating of global QoL (scale range 0–100) was relatively high at both assessments (67 and 83, respectively). There was a large variability in all HRQoL-domains and no significant changes over 6 years. As compared to an AIS D injury, a tetraplegia AIS A–C injury and tetraplegia and paraplegia AIS A–C injuries were associated with positive change in depressive symptoms and global QoL, respectively. Conclusions: Older adults aging with long-term SCI show large variations in all HRQoL-domains and have the potential to maintain a high and stable level of HRQoL over time. Persons with AIS D injuries may need increased attention to mitigate negative changes in depressive symptoms and global QoL. Further studies are needed to identify modifiable factors associated with changes in HRQoL in older adults aging with long-term SCI.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpinal Cord
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Nov 12
Publication categoryResearch