Purpose: To consider applying lessons learned in the treatment of pediatric patients with spinal cord injury to the adult spinal cord injury population with the goal of possibly improving adult psychosocial outcomes.
Brief background: Youth with SCI seem to experience lower levels of participation and quality of life, but also lower levels of anxiety and depression when compared with normative data. Youth with SCI appear to be emotionally resilient. It could be that children are just naturally more resilient than adults due to a number of developmental characteristics, but maybe some things about how we treat children contribute to the lower levels of depression and anxiety in this population. Some of the specific pediatric considerations have to do with the physical environment, communication, education, additional staffing, and accommodations.
Significance for SCI practice/Conclusion: Overall, psychosocial outcomes for youth with spinal cord injury could be considered to be more positive than those for individuals who sustained spinal cord injuries as adults. It is important to learn about the specific ways that we treat children and consider applying them in our treatment of adults with the goal of potentially improving adult outcomes.
1. To review the published psychosocial outcomes for youth with spinal cord injuries.
2. To better understand the important and specific elements of treatment for youth with spinal cord injuries.
3. To discuss how these elements of treatment can potentially be applied to our work with adults with spinal cord injuries with the aspirational goal of improving adult outcomes.