Quality of Life

When Mr. LM is at the mall or grocery store, he can often hear people whispering about him. He was upset one day to hear a middle-aged woman say, “I would never want to live that way”, and to hear an older man say, “I bet he wishes they’d just let him die”. Mr. LM tries to maintain an upbeat attitude at all times. However, he asks you, his clinician, how other people with spinal cord injuries usually view their quality of life.
Define quality of life.
1.  Quality of life is conceptualized as the (1) subjective approach whose focal point is the person’s emotional or cognitive assessment of the congruence between his/her life expectations and achievement, usually associated with life satisfaction or well-being and (2) the objective approach, based on one’s characteristics that can be objectively measured by an external appraiser or outsider.
What factors are predictive of quality of life post SCI?
1. Factors such as access to the community, employment, marriage, social support and community integration have been consistently found to have positive effects on QOL.
What evidence is there for interventions improving quality of life following a SCI?
1. Community reintegration and adjustment following an SCI is difficult even in the presence of social and healthcare professional support.
2. Peer mentorship may benefit both the mentor and mentee in terms of adjustment, knowledge acquisition, and QOL following an SCI.