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The association of sports and physical recreation with life satisfaction in a community sample of people with spinal cord injuries


The purpose of this study is to assess satisfaction with life domains in people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and investigate whether participation in sports and physical recreation is associated with life satisfaction in SCI. 1,748 randomly selected participants with SCI who fulfilled the criteria: SCI at level C5 or below, wheelchair dependent; aged 18–50 at the time of injury; at least 1 year post-injury, were approached to take part in this study. Completed replies were received from 985 individuals with SCI (198 women, 798 men). The measures used included the Sports Participation Questionnaire, the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The numbers of hours participating in sports decreased significantly after injury. There was a greater decrease in numbers participating in team sports in comparison to the decrease seen in numbers participating in individual sports. The highest level of satisfaction existed within social domains such as: family life and contacts with friends. The lowest level of satisfaction was found in regard to the participant's sexual life and vocational situation. Higher satisfaction with life in general was demonstrated in respondents with SCI involved in sports or physical recreation compared to those not participating in physical activities.