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Psychosocial Independence and Functional Abilities: Their Relationship in Adults with Severe Musculoskeletal Impairments

Nosek MA, Parker RM, Larsen S. Psychosocial independence and functional abilities: Their relationship in adults with severe musculoskeletal impairments. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 1987;68:840-5.


Personality traits, functional abilities, and demographic characteristics of 61 persons with severe musculoskeletal impairments were examined using a personality factors questionnaire, the Barthel Index, and a demographic questionnaire. Subjects were grouped by high or low scores on the personality factors scale (psychologic independence) and an independent living scale (social independence). Data were analyzed using correlations, chi-squares, analyses of variance, factor analyses, and discriminant analyses. Subjects with high psychologic independence tended to live in less restrictive settings, had fewer communication problems, and spent less time in comprehensive rehabilitation facilities. Those with high social independence tended to be married; have assertive, self-assured, and self-sufficient personalities; more education; and more earned income. Both groups of highly independent persons tended to have hired attendants, good health, and more transportation options. They were outgoing, predominantly female, and tended to perceive themselves as independent. Functional abilities were not significantly related to levels of psychologic and social independence.

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