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Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors Associated with Bowel and Bladder Management after SCI

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Annual rept. 30 Sep 2012-29 Sep 2013

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Persons with spinal cord injury SCI have associated bladder and bowel dysfunction, making this aspect of their care important to providers, researchers, and especially to those with SCI, their families and caregivers. While progress has been made in the area of bladder management, little has been done with respect to the psychosocial consequences of neurogenic bladder and bowel and their impact on quality of life QOL. Loss of physical independence, community participation, respect, feelings of shame, lack of intimacy and sexuality are just some of the issues associated with neurogenic bladder and bowel. Adjusting to losses related to neurogenic bladder and bowel are especially relevant to military personnel for whom physical functioning is key. For veterans with SCI, these issues are compounded by difficulties associated with emotional wounds from combat, disruptions of family life and feelings of isolation. Two aims guide this investigation. The first is to identify risk factors associated with neurogenic bladder and bowel medical and psychosocial complications after SCI. The second aim is to determine the influence of bladder and bowel management and psychosocial and behavioral factors on QOL. To address these aims, we utilize a mixed method, multiple source approach to data collection and analysis. Qualitative interviews are used with 2 groups persons with SCI N40 and caregivers N20. Additionally, 20 persons 10 SCI and 10 Caregivers will participate in focus groups, making a total project sample of 80. These are supplemented by quantitative measures to evaluate the extent and severity of bowel and bladder related health problems. Statistical analyses of the quantitative data will target the structural constraints of individual behavior and the empirical linkages between and among the many factors.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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