Psychological support for the patient with spinal cord injury

  • Panagiota Efthimiou
  • Ioannis S. Benetos
  • Dimitrios-Sergios Evangelopoulos
  • John Vlamis
Keywords: spinal cord injury, psychological support, rehabilitation, mental health


Reality after spinal cord injury (SCI) is a life-long adjustment. Although much of the effort is focused on the motor, sensory, and autonomic dysfunctions, SCI can have very serious psychosocial consequences on affected individuals. Research shows that many with sudden onset SCI will exhibit extreme negative emotions which impair psychological as well as social integration after injury. Also, people with SCI are at a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder among others, with psychological and social factors playing a major role in incidence and progression. The purpose of this study was to review the common psychosocial consequences for people after SCI and the current psychosocial challenges within the SCI population, as well as to provide considerations that promote quality of life from a biopsychosocial perspective. A review of the current literature was performed using the online Pubmed and Google Scholar databases and the PRISMA guidelines. Relevant analyses helped to derive conclusions that may benefit the psychological rehabilitation of SCI patients. Patients with robust psychological support seem to have better physical rehabilitation rates, less emotional and behavioral problems, less alcohol/drug abuse, higher rates of reintegration and engaging in meaningful activities and less suicide attempts.


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