Event centrality as a unique predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms and perceived disability following spinal cord injury

A. Boals, Z. Trost, D. Berntsen, L. Nowlin, T. Wheelis, K. R. Monden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study design:We conducted a cross-sectional study involving completion of self-report measures.Objectives:Individuals who acquire a spinal cord injury (SCI) face numerous physical and psychological challenges, with the former receiving considerable less attention during the rehabilitation process. In this article, we examined event centrality as a unique predictor of psychological outcomes in a sample of individuals receiving rehabilitation for SCI. Event centrality refers to the extent to which individuals construe a stressful experience as a core part of their identity. In samples of individuals exposed to psychological traumas (for example, sexual assault or military combat), event centrality has emerged as a consistent and powerful predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). This is the first study to examine event centrality in an SCI sample.Setting:Inpatient rehabilitation program in a large urban city in the Southwestern United States.Methods:A sample of 55 participants in rehabilitation for a recent SCI completed measures of event centrality, PTSS, depressed mood and perceived disability.Results:Event centrality was significantly related to perceived disability (r=0.48) and PTSS (r=0.31) and accounted for unique variance in these two outcomes after controlling for demographics and depressed mood.Conclusion:Event centrality is common among individuals with SCI and may be a unique contributor to worse psychological and functional outcomes. We hope our findings will alert health-care professionals to the importance of event centrality.Sponsorship:This study was supported by a grant from the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF89).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume55
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Study design: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving completion of self-report measures. Objectives: Individuals who acquire a spinal cord injury (SCI) face numerous physical and psychological challenges, with the former receiving considerable less attention during the rehabilitation process. In this article, we examined event centrality as a unique predictor of psychological outcomes in a sample of individuals receiving rehabilitation for SCI. Event centrality refers to the extent to which individuals construe a stressful experience as a core part of their identity. In samples of individuals exposed to psychological traumas (for example, sexual assault or military combat), event centrality has emerged as a consistent and powerful predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). This is the first study to examine event centrality in an SCI sample. Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation program in a large urban city in the Southwestern United States. Methods: A sample of 55 participants in rehabilitation for a recent SCI completed measures of event centrality, PTSS, depressed mood and perceived disability. Results: Event centrality was significantly related to perceived disability (r = 0.48) and PTSS (r = 0.31) and accounted for unique variance in these two outcomes after controlling for demographics and depressed mood. Conclusion: Event centrality is common among individuals with SCI and may be a unique contributor to worse psychological and functional outcomes. We hope our findings will alert health-care professionals to the importance of event centrality. Sponsorship: This study was supported by a grant from the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF89). Spinal Cord (2017) 55, 1023–1027; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.57; published online 30 May 2017

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 International Spinal Cord Society All rights reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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