University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Sleep problems in individuals with spinal cord injury: frequency and age effects


Jensen MP, Hirsh AT, Molton IR, Bamer AM



Publication Info:

Rehabilitation Psychology, 54(3):323-331


OBJECTIVES: The two objectives of this study were (a) to replicate the previous finding of more severe sleep difficulties in a sample of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) compared with normative samples, and (b) to examine the associations between aging variables (specifically, chronological age, duration of SCI, age at SCI onset) and the severity of sleep difficulties.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.
RESEARCH METHOD: A survey was administered to 620 individuals with SCI that included measures of demographic characteristics and sleep difficulties.
RESULTS: The findings indicated that sleep problems are more common in individuals with SCI than in normative samples. In addition, younger participants in our sample reported more sleep problems than did older participants. Duration of SCI and age at onset, however, were not significantly associated with sleep difficulties.
CONCLUSION: The analyses used in this study provide a model for examining age effects using concurrent survey data that may be useful for other investigators interested in studying the associations between age-related variables and important health-related domains.

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