Depression in adults who sustained spinal cord injuries as children or adolescents

Caroline J. Anderson, Lawrence C. Vogel, Kathleen M. Chlan, Randal R. Betz, Craig M. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Study design: Interview survey. Objective: To assess depression in adults with pediatric-onset spinal cord injuries (SCI) and to determine demographic and injury-related factors, and outcomes associated with depression, and to determine which other outcomes are associated with depression. Methods: Subjects were adults with pediatric-onset SCI who sustained SCI at age ≤18 years and were interviewed at age ≥24 years. This is part of a longitudinal study for which there were 864 eligible participants; 353 (41 %) were interviewed. Of these, 232 were assessed for depression. A telephone interview was conducted that included a structured questionnaire and standardized measures (Functional Independence Measure, Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique, Short-Form 12 measure of health-related quality of life, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to screen for depression). Results: Twenty-seven percent reported depressive symptoms ranging from mild to severe, and 7% reported having suicidal thoughts within the last 2 weeks, and 3% reported symptoms consistent with probable major depressive disorder (MDD). Depression was not significantly associated with any demographic factors but it was associated with incomplete injury (P = 0.013). Depression was also associated with many participation outcomes, health-related quality of life, life satisfaction, and medical complications. Conclusions: Depression is a significant problem among adults with pediatric-onset SCI and is associated with poorer outcomes and lower quality of life. These findings should be addressed as clinicians prepare children and adolescents with SCI to transition to adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S76-S82
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Children
  • Depression
  • Spinal cord injuries


Dive into the research topics of 'Depression in adults who sustained spinal cord injuries as children or adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this