Educational Interests of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury Living in the Community: Medical, Sexuality, and Wellness Topics

Authors

  • Karen A. Hart PhD,

    Assistant Professor, Vice President, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Bethesda, MD.
    2. Education at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in Houston.
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  • Diana H. Rintala PhD,

    Associate Professor
    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Bethesda, MD.
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  • Marcus J. Fuhrer PhD

    Director
    1. National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research in Bethesda, MD.
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Baylor College of Medicine, TIRR, Room B-107, 1333 Moursund Street, Houston, TX 77030-3405

Abstract

As a component of the Baylor College of Medicine study of the life status of people with spinal cord injury (SCI), this study determined the educational topics of interest to a cohort of 590 adults with SCI living in the community. Thirty-five items in nine topic areas were included in the inventory. Three topic areas—medical, sexuality, and wellness—are discussed in this article. Across the three topic areas, the five topics of greatest interest were exercise programs, testing of nerve and muscle function, bladder or kidney problems, pain, and sexuality issues. Information about smoking cessation and alcohol or drug abuse was of interest to very few participants. Ten grouping variables were analyzed and individual differences, such as educational level and whether an individual had paraplegia or quadriplegia, were found to account for differences in the topics of interest. The results of this study can be used in setting priorities for the development of educational activities and learning experiences for individuals with SCI living in the community.

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