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The Use of Short Form 36 and Beck Depression Inventory in Acute Cervical Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Author(s): Hui-Mei Chen, Chiu-Ju Shih, Chi-Feng Lee, Shih-Yuan Hsu, Yu-Hua Huang, Tsung-Han Lee, Cheng-Hsien Lu, Hung-Chen Wang


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the major catastrophes in life. After injury, most patients suffer from varying degrees of physical disabilities as well as psychological impacts, resulting in lower quality of life. The objective of this study is to evaluate the physical and mental impacts in patients with acute SCI.


A prospective trial to evaluate the use of short form 36 (SF-36) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in acute cervical SCI patients. A total of 40 patients with acute SCI were included in the study. SF-36, BDI, the Hopkins Rehabilitation Engagement Rating Scale and Japanese Orthopedic Association Score of individual patients were recorded at three points -- within two weeks and one month, three months, and six months after injury.


Patients with acute SCI had significantly poorer levels of SF-36 domains, such as PF, RP, BP, SF and RE, PCS and BDI scores compared with controls. SF-36 score was positively correlated with JOA score on PF, RP, GH, and PCS, but negatively correlated with BDI on all domains components except BP. The excellent JOA recovery group had higher SF-36, lower BDI score on all time points then non-excellent group. However, compared to the HRERS, there was only statistically significant higher score during the first month of the excellent recovery group.


BDI and SF-36 are good assessment tools for evaluating the physiological and psychological status in patients with SCI. They can help health care givers to understand the respective statuses of the SCI patients to improve their quality of life.

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