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Papers of the Week

2022 Apr 14

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Perceived Clinical Barriers to Employment for Males with Spinal Cord Injury in Saudi Arabia.


AlWashmi AH, Qureshi A Z, Ullah S, Ayaz S B, AlKeaid N H, Alotaibi H M
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 14; 19(8).
PMID: 35457614.


Return to work is a challenging aspect of community integration for individuals with disabilities. The reintegration of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) is multifactorial; hence, regional challenges need to be investigated in the context of their clinical attributes and perceptions. A total of 121 male participants above 18 years of age with diagnosis of SCI and living at home were included in this cross-sectional survey. The study was conducted at a tertiary care rehabilitation facility in Saudi Arabia. The most common reported clinical barriers to employment were mobility, bladder incontinence, spasticity, musculoskeletal pain, and neuropathic pain. Bladder incontinence and musculoskeletal pain were the most common perceived clinical barriers for individuals with paraplegia and tetraplegia, respectively. A significant difference was observed for bowel incontinence as a reported barrier ( = 0.024) among adults less than thirty years of age in comparison with those older than thirty years. Spasticity as a barrier was reported more among patients who were older than thirty years (54.0%) compared to those younger than thirty years of age (37.9%) ( = 0.077). Twenty-two (23.7%) participants with paraplegia reported transfers as a perceived barrier to employment, which was significant ( = 0.014), and it was also reported as a significant barrier ( = 0.001) in individuals with tetraplegia (56%). This study shows that clinical conditions associated with SCI are considered potential barriers to employment by individuals with SCI. In terms of priority, the perceived barriers between individuals with tetraplegia and paraplegia were mostly different. This shows the need to consider relevant secondary health care conditions in goal setting while planning for employment in individuals with SCI.