Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be devastating to patients, with potential life-long effects, and are associated with increased risk for psychological disorders, lower quality of life, spasticity and pain. Pain associated with SCI is related to impairments in daily activities, low quality of life, depression, anger and poor adjustment, anxiety and sleep and mood disorders. Health planners and social services should have full knowledge of these issues in order to plan schedules that address them. In this study, we aimed to understand the psychosocial problems of persons with SCI in Iran and to explore the requirements for minimizing these difficulties.
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to explore the perspectives and experiences of Iranian patients regarding barriers and facilitators to their ability to cope with spinal cord injury (SCI). A qualitative design, based on the content analysis approach, was used to collect and analyze the experiences of 18 patients with spinal cord injury in two centers in Tehran, Iran. After using purposeful sampling for selection of the participants, semi‐structured interviews were held for data collection. Lack of “knowledge”, “financial resources”, “employment opportunities”, “suitable facilities and accessibility” as well as “societal acceptance and support” emerged as barriers; and having “self‐confidence”, “religious beliefs”, “support networks” and “positive thinking” emerged as facilitators in coping with spinal cord injury. Participants believed that with these hindering factors in place, adapting to their new condition had been difficult, therefore they can only manage to adapt partially to their situation. Additional multidisciplinary endeavors are needed to help this group cope adequately and further research is required to influence policy making and legislation processes efficiently.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. and It was set by Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research (BASIR) Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
One hundred nineteen persons with SCI referred to BASIR clinic to receive outpatient rehabilitation.
Methods: A population-based study was performed. In a random cluster sampling, 100 addresses were selected as the starting point of the survey for each cluster consisting of 25 households. To expand the geographic dimension of each cluster, the interviewers skipped 3 of 4 houses in gathering data for each study unit. Each person with traumatic SCI was evaluated initially by a nurse and then by a neurosurgeon by physical examination and spinal imaging at the hospital or at home.
Results: Ninety-seven percent of all surveyed agreed to participate in the study (2,425 households, or 9,006 persons). Four cases of SCI were identified. The point prevalence of SCI was 4.4 [95% CI = 1.2-11.4] per 10,000 people. Over the 5-year period from January 2003 through January 2008, the reported incidence rate of SCI was 2.2 (95% Cl = 0.27-8.00) per 10,000 people.
Conclusions: In this, the first published population-based study from Iran, the prevalence of traumatic SCI in Tehran ranged from 1.2 to 11.4 per 10,000 people. More research is required to determine the patterns and causes of SCI. Development of a nationwide SCI registry or surveillance system is fundamental to an understanding of the epidemiology, and hence the prevention, of this costly health problem.