Secondary health conditions and social role satisfaction in adults with long-term physical disability.

Objective: Individuals living with physical disability due to early acquired or traumatic conditions often experience a range of psychological and physical health problems that are associated with their condition but are not directly caused by it. Known as “secondary health conditions,” these problems can interact with existing functional limitations and other medical comorbidities to limit social participation. The current study assessed the concurrent and longitudinal associations between secondary health conditions, chronic medical comorbidities, and functional limitations, with a PROMIS® measure of social role participation. Methods: A longitudinal survey study of community-dwelling adults with one of four chronic physical conditions (multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, postpoliomyelitis syndrome). The baseline survey (T1) was mailed to 2041 individuals, and1862 baseline surveys were completed and returned (91% response rate). The follow-up survey (T2) was mailed roughly three years later; 1594 completed and returned the T2 survey (86% of T1 survey completers). Results: Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that secondary health conditions, functional impairments, and chronic medical comorbidities accounted for 52% of the variance in satisfaction with social roles concurrently at T1. The amount of variance of change in satisfaction with social roles over the ∼3-year period accounted for by these variables was 3%. Functional limitations and more psychologically oriented secondary conditions were the strongest predictors of satisfaction with social roles. Conclusions: Findings suggest that, for people with disabilities, addressing psychologically oriented secondary health conditions may be as important as functional impairment in predicting long-term social health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)