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01-02-2009 | Uitgave 1/2009

Quality of Life Research 1/2009

Quality of life and self-esteem of persons with paraplegia living in São Paulo, Brazil

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2009
Leila Blanes, Maria Isabel S. Carmagnani, Lydia M. Ferreira



To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) and self-esteem of paraplegic persons.


The sample consisted of 60 outpatients with traumatic paraplegia living in São Paulo, Brazil, from whom clinical and demographic data were obtained. QoL was assessed by the 36-item Short-Form (SF-36) health survey questionnaire, and self-esteem was measured by Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem (RSE) scale. Statistical analysis was performed using Student’s t-test, analysis of variance and Fisher’s least significant difference (LSD) test at a significance level of 5%.


Participants were predominately men (86.7%) with a mean age of 32.9 (standard deviation [SD] = 9.47) years, low education level and low income. The SF-36 dimensions that received the lowest scores were physical functioning, role physical and role emotional. Cronbach’s alpha for the SF-36 questionnaire was 0.80. A significant statistical difference was found between the presence of pressure ulcers and low scores on mental health (P = 0.001), as determined by Student’s t-test. The mean self-esteem score was 8.35 and there was a significant statistical difference between low self-esteem scores and occupation (P = 0.008).


Participants reported low QoL and self-esteem. The results provide background information that may be useful in the development of strategies to reduce the impact of spinal cord injury (SCI) on the life and health of persons with SCI, improving their QoL.

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