Utilization and access to healthcare services among community-dwelling people living with spinal cord injury

Rita Hamilton, Simon Driver, Shayan Noorani, Librada Callender, Monica Bennett, Kimberley Monden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Objective: Describe the utilization, accessibility, and satisfaction of primary and preventative health-care services of community-dwelling individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: Cross sectional, in-person or telephonic survey, utilizing a convenience sample. Setting: Community. Participants: Individuals with SCI greater than 12-months post injury. Interventions: N/A. Outcome measures: Demographic, injury related, and 34-item questionnaire of healthcare utilization, accessibility, and satisfaction with services. Results: The final sample consisted of 142 participants (50 female, 92 male). Ninety-nine percent of respondents had a healthcare visit in the past 12-months with primary care physicians (79%), with SCI physiatrists (77%) and urologists (50%) being the most utilized. 43% of the sample reported an ER visit within the past 12-months, with 21% reporting multiple visits. People who visited the ER had completed significantly less secondary education (P = 0.0386) and had a lower estimate of socioeconomic status (P = 0.017). The majority of individuals (66%) were satisfied with their primary care physician and 100% were satisfied with their SCI physiatrist. Individuals who did not visit an SCI physiatrist were significantly more likely to live in a rural area (P = 0.0075), not have private insurance (P = 0.0001), and experience a greater decrease in income post injury (P = 0.010). Conclusion: The delivery of care for people with SCI with low socioeconomic status may be remodeled to include patient-centered medical homes where care is directed by an SCI physiatrist. Further increased telehealth efforts would allow for SCI physiatrists to monitor health conditions remotely and focus on preventative treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, Inc. 2016.


  • Accessibility
  • Disability
  • Healthcare services
  • Injury
  • Outpatient
  • Rehabilitation
  • Satisfaction
  • Spinal cord injury


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilization and access to healthcare services among community-dwelling people living with spinal cord injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this