06-21-2002, 11:50 AM
• Anderson CJ and Vogel LC (2002). Employment outcomes of adults who sustained spinal cord injuries as children or adolescents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 83 (6): 791-801. Summary: Anderson CJ, Vogel LC. Employment outcomes of adults who sustained spinal cord injuries as children or adolescents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002;83:791-801. OBJECTIVES: To determine employment outcomes of adults with pediatric-onset spinal cord injury (SCI) and factors associated with those outcomes. DESIGN: Structured interview, including standardized measures. SETTING: Community. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals who sustained an SCI at age 18 years or younger, were 24 years or older at follow-up, did not have a significant brain injury, and were living in the United States or Canada. A total of 195 subjects were interviewed. Mean age at injury was 14 years (0-18y), mean age at interview was 29 years (24-37y), and mean duration of injury was 15 years (7-28y). All participants had been enrolled in SCI programs. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A structured interview, the FIMtrade mark instrument, the Craig Handicap Assessment and Recording Technique, the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. RESULTS: Of the participants, 99 (51%) were employed, 78 (40%) were unemployed, 12 (6%) were students, and 6 (3%) were homemakers. A predictive model of employment identified 4 factors associated with employment: education, community mobility, functional independence, and decreased medical complications. Other variables significantly associated with employment included community integration, independent driving, independent living, higher income, and life satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the general population, the high rate of unemployment among adults with pediatric-onset SCI is a cause for concern. Risk factors associated with adult unemployment provide guidelines for targeting rehabilitation resources and strategies. Shriners Hospital for Children (Anderson, Vogel); and Rush Medical College (Vogel), Chicago, IL.