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An Exploration of Sensation Seeking in Persons With Disabilities in Rehabilitation

Koszalinski, Rebecca S. PhD, RN, CRRN, CMSRN1; Heidel, R. Eric PhD2; Thomson, Cynthia J. PhD3; Cochran, P. David BSN, RN, CCRN4; Nance, Jon BSN, RN, SRNA4; Kaye, Al MS, CTRS, FDRT, CBIS5

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000146

Purpose This study reports the findings of a study about sensation-seeking or high-risk/challenging sports in persons who have disabilities.

Design Exploratory, cross-sectional, and descriptive.

Methods Two hundred and twenty-three recruitment e-mails were sent to potential participants. Data were collected through Qualtrics.

Findings Mean score for Contextual Sensation Seeking Questionnaire for Skiing and Snowboarding (M = 30.21, SD = 8.18) was significantly lower than a sample of able-bodied skiers and snowboarders, t(239) = 2.75, p = .006. Mean for impulsive sensation seeking was lower than the same sample of able-bodied athletes cited in a previous study, t(240) = 4.56, p = .001. Means for the Zuckerman Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire subscales were impulsivity (M = 1.98, SD = 4.05) and sensation seeking (M = 6.75, SD = 2.68).

Conclusions This group scored lower in sensation seeking compared to able-bodied high-risk/challenging sports activities participants. Sensation seeking is not a motivating factor in this sample.

Clinical Relevance Nurses could encourage rehabilitation patients to engage in challenging activities for personal and group mastery.

1 College of Nursing, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

2 Department of Surgery, Division of Biostatistics, The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, TN, USA

3 School of Health Studies, The University of the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

4 Nurse Anesthesia Concentration, The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA

5 Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, USA

Correspondence: Rebecca S. Koszalinski, The University of Tennessee College of Nursing, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA. E-mail:

Cite this article as: Koszalinski, R. S., Heidel, R. E., Thomson, C., Cochran, D., Nance, J., & Kaye, A. (2019). An exploration of sensation seeking in persons with disabilities in rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Nursing, 44(4), 230–235. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000146

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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