The effect of depression in hospitalization and rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a rare condition, however its consequences might be devastating, since it affects patients’ physical function as well as psychological well-being. Therefore, it is not surprising for patients with SCI to develop mental health problems, such as depression and/or anxiety. Depressive symptoms include agitation, restlessness, fatigue, changes in appetite, helplessness, loss of interest as well as problems in sleeping. The presence of depression has been connected with extended length of hospitalization and development of secondary medical complications, as well as reduced quality of life (QOL) and self-efficacy. The purpose of this review is to investigate the existing literature to identify the effect of depression on hospitalization and rehabilitation in patients with SCI. From the 31 studies included in this paper, it is obvious that SCI patients with depression have longer periods of hospitalization and/or rehabilitation as well as worse functional outcomes. Moreover, it was shown that SCI individuals with depressive symptoms frequently develop other secondary medical complications which subsequently affect the length of stay and the rehabilitation outcomes. Acknowledging these facts can improve diagnosis and intervention, which may also improve the patient’s recovery outcome.
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