• Calmels P, Bethoux F, Roche G, Fayolle-Minon I and Picano-Gonard C (2003). [Evaluation of the handicap and the quality of life in spinal cord injuries: study in a population of 58 patients living at home]. Ann Readapt Med Phys 46:233-40. Summary: Goal. - The main purpose of this study was to identify objective factors (social and economic status, impairments, functional limitations) contributing to the subjective quality of life of subjects presenting with residual neurological deficits from a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and living at home.Subjects and Method. - This is a cross-sectional descriptive study of a sample of SCI patients followed at a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation facility. After informed consent was obtained, a clinical and functional examination was conducted and questionnaires were filled out by the subjects. The following parameters were assessed: impairments (sensory and motor ASIA scores), disability (Barthel Index and Functional Independence Measure(TM)), and quality of life (Reintegration to Normal Living Index and Nottingham Health Profile).Results. - Fifty-eight subjects completed the study (mean age 41.38 +/-13.55 years and mean delay from onset 6.24 +/- 6.06 years). There was a strong significant correlation between the level of quality of life and the current age, the age at the time of the accident and the disability level, particularly for the dimensions of physical independence, social integration and mobility.Conclusion. - Our results are consistent with published data, which identify age as a determining factor of quality of life after SCI. Our review of the literature indicated that time from onset influences quality of life. Longitudinal studies, taking into account the levels of social participation, are needed to better understand the impact of time on quality of life after SCI. Service de MPR, departement de medecine physique et readaptation, Gip Exercice, universite Jean-Monnet, hopital Bellevue, centre hospitalier universitaire Saint-Etienne, 42055 cedex 2, Saint-Etienne, France