University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Satisfaction with participation in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury


Yorkston KM, Bamer A, Johnson K, Amtmann D



Publication Info:

Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(9):747-753


Purpose: To validate a single item self-report of satisfaction with participation in two groups with differing patterns of symptoms and disease progress, multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI). Method: Community-dwelling adults with MS (N?=?1,271) or SCI (N?=?620) completed a battery of self-report questionnaires covering demographic information, disease specific measures, symptoms, psychological distress, social-environmental issues, and overall well-being. They were also asked to rate satisfaction with participation: How satisfied are you with your ability to take part in activities that are important to you: not satisfied, somewhat satisfied, satisfied, or very satisfied. Kendall's tau rank correlation coefficient and ?(2) tests were used to examine the strength and direction of associations between demographic and symptom variables and responses to the participation item. Results: Although the demographics of the MS and SCI differed in predictable ways, younger participants and those employed report more satisfaction with participation. Ratings of satisfaction with participation were also consistently associated with a number of variables including less fatigue, pain, depression, stress, anxiety, as well as higher overall measures of well-being across the two populations. Conclusions: More research is needed to better understand the multiple dimensions that comprise participation and to develop robust and sensitive measurement tools. A global rating of satisfaction with participation using one item has a number of potentially useful applications including description of case mix in clinical trials.

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