New Study Shows Residential Mobility Impacts Spinal Cord Injury Patient Health

Researchers working on the Spinal Cord Injury Model System recently isolated data that shows residential mobility, or moving from one home to another, after a spinal cord injury has a strong impact on the health and recovery of patients.  The study, published in the Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was undertaken to investigate the impact of residential mobility among adults with SCIs and studied the impact of the individual, health, and community factors involved in relocation after an injury. Ultimately, the study correlated nearly a third of the participants who moved into lower-income neighborhoods after their injuries with poorer overall health outcomes.

Researchers determined that one in four people relocated their homes in the first five years after an SCI, with people originating from low-income households most likely to change their residence.  Using retrospective data analytics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, data between 2006 and 2018 was linked to information about neighborhoods from the American Community Survey.

According to the data, 35 percent of movers relocated to an area identified as high poverty.  This means that many SCI victims are moving to more disadvantaged locations than where they lived previous to their injuries, suggesting that money may have been a contributing factor in their decision to relocate.

Relocation to a more impoverished area was associated with increased risk for health disparities as well as poor long-term health outcomes.

Income vs. Outcome

There is a statistical link between the ability to pay for better treatment and better outcomes for patients with spinal cord injuries.  In short, patients who can afford better long-term care often have better outcomes from their injuries than patients who do not.

Because this link has been well-established, the new study tried to determine what proportion of spinal cord injury victims were affected by poverty after their injury.  By doing so, they could predict how many would suffer poor outcomes from their SCI treatment.  The findings showed that nearly one-third of SCI victims examined in the study were worse off financially after an SCI and were forced to move to poorer neighborhoods.  It is logical to assume that this would also correlate with poor outcomes and fewer options in medical treatment.

What Does This Study Mean for SCI Victims?

As this study shows, victims who do not recover compensation for SCIs are more likely to suffer a poorer standard of living after their accidents than those who recover damages.  By pursuing compensation, an SCI victim may be able to afford better medical treatment as well as have better living options for the rest of his/her life.

If you have been the victim of a spinal cord injury accident, contact Barber & Associates today.  We are here to help you ensure that you and your family are protected after your accident, including protecting your standard of living and your future.  Call us today to learn how we can help you seek justice for your SCI.

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