Perceived spasticity in chronic spinal cord injured patients: Associations with psychological factors

Gerlienke Voerman, Cathelijne V. Erren-Wolters, Judith F.M. Fleuren, Hermie J. Hermens, Alexander C. Geurts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: To explore the association between perceived spasticity and psychological factors (pain sensations, coping strategies, and illness cognitions) in chronic spinal cord injured (SCI) patients. - Methods: Cross-sectional study using a set of questionnaires was designed for chronic complete patients with SCI and with self-reported leg spasticity. Outcome measures were Visual Analogue Scale for average perceived leg spasticity (VASSpasticity), VASPain for average perceived pain sensations in the leg, Utrecht Coping List (UCL) including its seven subscales, and Illness Cognition Questionnaire (ICQ) with its three subscales. Psychological factors with a bivariate correlation with VASSpasticity of p<0.2 were selected for regression analyses. - Results: Nineteen patients with SCI (response rate 86%) participated. Bivariate correlations of p<0.2 were found between VASSpasticity and VASPain, UCLActive approach, UCLSeeking social support, UCLReassuring thoughts, ICQAcceptation, and ICQHelplessness. Only UCLReassuring thoughts (Beta −0.59, p=0.01) and ICQHelplessness (Beta 0.50, p=0.02) were retained in the multivariate model, explaining 44% of the variance in VASSpasticity (R2adjusted). - Conclusions: Perceived spasticity appeared associated with psychological factors in complete patients with SCI: Those with higher levels of reassuring thoughts and lower levels of helplessness reported relatively lower levels of perceived spasticity. Large prospective cohort studies are recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)775-780
    Number of pages6
    JournalDisability and rehabilitation
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


    • BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology
    • reassuring thoughts
    • helplessness
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Spasticity


    Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived spasticity in chronic spinal cord injured patients: Associations with psychological factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this