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Project

Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Healthy Aging after SCI

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 400 K
Funding amount
Abstract
As the number of adults aging with SCI grows, understanding those factors that contribute to healthy and positive aging is becoming an increasingly important area of research. Successful aging with SCI consists of a complex interplay among factors that can facilitate community participation and the management of health and secondary conditions. However, the role of the socio-environmental context in this process has not been fully explored. Prior research highlights the burden to disability that can exist through non-supportive environmental surroundings such as inaccessible buildings, sidewalks and public transportation systems. Despite the mounting evidence of the role of the environment for physical disability, only a handful of studies have directly investigated the socio-environmental factors that influence health and community participation among people aging with SCI. The goal of the proposed project is to begin to fill this gap in knowledge by examining the role of characteristics in the social and built environment as they interact with underlying impairments and activity limitations to either hinder or promote successful aging with SCI. We will use a mixed methods approach, integrating quantitative survey data, qualitative interviews, and novel environmental data (collected through Google Street View and Photovoice) to provide rich insights into the role of the environment in successful aging with SCI. There are 3 specific aims: 1) characterize the social and built environment with respect to the factors that influence successful aging with SCI; 2) examine the relationship between social and environmental factors and successful aging with SCI using a standardized survey instrument administered to 200 adults aging with SCI; and 3) understand the underlying ways that the socio-environmental context influences successful aging in a subsample of 30 participants with SCI using qualitative interviews with Photovoice. We expect that, all other factors being equal, adults aging with SCI living in safe, accessible environments with more social and healthcare resources will report greater social and community participation and better management of health and secondary conditions. In addition, we expect that residence in safe, accessible, resource-intensive environments will be particularly beneficial for individuals with more severe neurological impairment and those with fewer socioeconomic resources and social supports. This project will contribute new knowledge on the socio-environmental barriers and facilitators that hinder or promote successful aging with SCI. (CHN: PSR chn:wdg)
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System

Categories
  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Aging

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC

    Neurodegenerative

  • HRCS RAC

    2.3 Psychological, social and economic factors

  • Health Research Areas

    Population & Society

  • Broad Research Areas

    Public Health