When people face catastrophic accidents in Colorado that result in spinal injury, it can be devastating. They foresee a life of doom and gloom with many challenges and few moments of happiness. While there will certainly be a number of obstacles to overcome and adjust to, many people do continue to live a full life after a spinal injury.
While conducting a study published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, researchers mailed off 1,800 surveys to individuals living with traumatic spinal cord injury. The aim of the 2016 study was to identify the factors that most contributed to continued resilience in patients who suffered from SCI. Some of the contributing factors identified by the people who responded to the survey are as follows:
- Social support and social relationships
- Religion or faith in a higher power
- Physical health and functioning
- General outlook on life
Most of the respondents identified as happy and thanked good social support, personal strength and spiritual reasons for their resilience. The study also showed a strong relationship between people experiencing continued pain and physical challenges and lower emotional resilience. Most of the respondents also fell into one or more of the following categories:
- Completed at least some college
- Lived in a small or rural town
- Married or in a relationship
- Completed military service
Many of these studies have been conducted over the years and one finding that seems consistent across the board is that people’s happiness is often tied to personal independence. Put simply, people with spinal cord injuries are often happiest when they can complete tasks for themselves. Involuntary reliance on family and friends may disrupt this happiness and lead to frustration.
According to Mayo Clinic, assistive technology may also help many people with spinal cord injuries to improve their quality of life. This technology can help people who have difficulty with hand movements, which may make it difficult to use a phone or computer. Thus, the technology may provide opportunities to return to work, pursue hobbies or reclaim their independence.