Depressed mood in spinal cord injured patients: Staff perceptions and patient realities

L. A. Cushman, M. P. Dijkers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This study examined the correspondence between staff ratings and patient ratings of depressed mood for 102 newly spinal cord injured persons admitted to two regional spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers. Patients rated their mood by using the Depression Adjective Check List (DACL). Treatment staff also rated each patient by completing the DACL as they thought the patient would have on the same day. Ratings were made every three weeks during a patient's stay. Results indicate that patients were generally similar to the general population in terms of self-rated depressed mood. Staff members typically overestimated levels of patients' depressed moods. Staff members' ratings did correlate significantly, although modestly, with patients' self-ratings (r=.34, p<.001). However, staff's accuracy in estimating patient mood did not increase as a function of increased exposure to the patient or years of experience in rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Personnel, hospital
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries


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