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Employment among spinal cord injured patients living in Turkey: a cross-sectional study

Gunduz, Berrin; Erhan, Belgin; Bardak, Ayse Nur

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: September 2010 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 275-278
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e328339814e
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The aim of this study was to determine the rate of employment and to establish the factors affecting vocational status in spinal cord injured patients living in Turkey. One hundred and fifty-two traumatic spinal cord injured patients older than 18 years with injury duration of at least 1 year and living in the community were included in the study; homemakers were not taken into consideration. The demographic and clinical data were retrieved from the medical records. The patients were interviewed with a structured questionnaire about the employment status at the time of the injury and after the injury, seeking a job after the injury, possible causes for unemployment, educational activities after the injury, and being a member of a social association. Descriptive statistics, Mann–Whitney U test and Pearson's χ2 test were used to analyze the results. The rate of employment was 21% among this group of spinal cord injured patients. Female sex, young age at the time of the injury, longer time since injury, higher educational level, being educated after injury, and being a member of a social association have positive effects on vocational outcome; age at the time of the study and severity and level of the lesion did not affect employment. According to the results of this study, the employment rates after spinal cord injury are low in Turkey. There is a need to maximize the employment capacity. Social and educational activities after injury should be encouraged during rehabilitation.

First PMR Clinic, Istanbul Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence to Berrin Gunduz, MD, Istanbul Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training Hospital, Korukent Sitesi C Blok D:14 34340 Levent Istanbul, Turkey

E-mail: gunduzberrin@gmail.com

Received 26 June 2009 Accepted 11 February 2010

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.