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.
- Healthcare services
- Spinal cord injury