Examining day-to-day stress and coping among individuals with spinal cord injury: effects on mood, functional ability and health status

Spinal cord injuries lead to a variety of outcomes because of the unique nature of such injuries. Although the level of injury accounts for many of the differences in recovery among people with spinal cord injuries, it doesn’t fully explain differences in functional ability and adaptation to life after an injury. Evidence suggests the way people cope with a life-altering spinal injury may be as important to their recovery and health status as the extent of their injury or the care received. Sharon Lee is studying the impact of different coping behaviours on rates and extent of physical and mental recovery from spinal injury. Through face-to-face and telephone interviews, Sharon is investigating the relationship between stress, coping strategies and social support in people with spinal cord injuries. Results from the research could be used to develop therapies that help newly injured individuals cope and readjust to life with the best possible health status.