Understanding the association between perceived injustice, depression symptoms, and stigma in individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury

Joshua W. Peiffer, Angela M Philippus, Karen Kanaster, Kimberley R. Monden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Study design: This is a secondary analysis of data from a cross-sectional, observational study. Objectives: The study aimed to determine whether stigma mediates the relationship between preceived injustice and depression symptoms among individuals with spinal cord injuries. Setting: Secondary analysis of participants enrolled in the Spinal Cord Injury Model System at a specialty rehabilitation hospital in the Western United States. Methods: A sample of 225 participants completed the questionnaires; eight participants were removed due to incomplete data, resulting in a final sample size of 217 participants (79% male; 21% female). Participants were, on average, 53 years old and were predominantly male, white, and 20 years post-injury. A bootstrapping mediation analysis was conducted to evaluate the stigma-mediated relationship between injustice appraisals and depression symptoms. Injustice appraisals were assessed using the Injustice Experience Questionnaire, stigma with the Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Stigma–Short Form, and depression symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire–9. Results: Stigma was found to mediate the relationship between injustice appraisals and depression, with an estimated proportion mediated of 80.9% (p ≤ 0.0001). Conclusions: This study provides a novel finding that the relationship between injustice appraisals and depression symptoms is mediated by stigma. Consistent with previous research, injustice appraisals were associated with greater severity of depression symptoms. Results provide further evidence for the role of injustice appraisals after spinal cord injury and a potential mechanism (i.e., stigma) by which it may exert its effect on depression symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpinal Cord
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to International Spinal Cord Society 2024.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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