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Understanding, Predicting, and Preventing Life-Changing and Life-Threatening Health Changes among Aging Veterans and Civilians with Spinal Cord Injury

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2018,29 Sep 2019

Corporate Author:

Medical University of South Carolina Charleston United States

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Spinal cord injury SCI is associated with secondary health conditions, such as pressure ulcers and infections, which occur either in isolation or in combination. Our purpose is to identify how multiple secondary health may occur simultaneously and the factors that lead to their occurrence, so that preventative strategies may be developed. We made outstanding progress on the collection of data in year 3, building upon the success from year 2. We conducted a total of 69 health screens, 65 full individual interviews, and 28 familycaregiver interviews. We conducted 12 focus groups with 54 SCI participants and 3 focus group with 10 familycaregivers. We addressed several complex issues and challenges, including utilizing multiple types of groups to collect data including in person, virtual, and phone in. The virtual groups were highly successful in particular, compared with in-person groups where there were difficulties for people logistically. We received approval to modify one of our data collection procedures to supplement our current sampling strategy with those from the Paralyzed Veterans of AmericaPVA to augment inclusion of veterans n 30 veterans, reaching our target. We have been conducting multiple data processing and data analytic activities. We utilize the data to classify an individuals pattern of health outcomes into multiple categories. We first identify whether they indeed had experienced a negative health cycle a minimum of 2 conditions over six months. We also classified participants as to whether they had a negative health spiral 3 conditions over the same timeframe. We identified the sequence of events leading to the negative health spirals, whether they lead to long-term potential decline, or whether they are resolved. In terms of dissemination, we made 2 presentations to the national PVA meeting, one on iatrogenic causes and the other on global factors related to health, negative health cycles, and negative health spirals.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

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