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Severity of spinal cord injury has no impact on how adults rate their health, WSU research finds
Date:7/12/2011

he same assessments of physical capacity for those groups as we do for a healthy older person," Lysack said, "and they don't fit particularly well." According to Lysack, assessment tools that are not developed for use with people with disabilities may yield misleading results. There also are many different kinds of disabilities and new instruments will need to be sensitive to that.

Further research also is needed, Lysack said, to determine if a relationship between physical capacities of people is related to SRH in those with spinal cord injury in the same way as it may be for people with Parkinson's disease, a stroke, a hip fracture, vision impairments and many other types of disabilities.

"We simply do not know how the ability to do things is related to SRH in these groups, and how, if it all, SRH predicts other serious outcomes," she said. Ultimately such studies need to be done, and soon, Lysack said, to determine if SRH and self-rated physical ability are a sort of "early warning system" or predictor of future functional decline.

That seems to be true for aging, she said, and if so, SRH and self-rated physical ability become very useful tools in clinical practice.

"If rehabilitation professionals can use these questions to identify people who are at risk for losing their functional independence, then there is a chance to intercede with targeted interventions to prevent or at least forestall the decline," Lysack said.


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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
734-748-4207
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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