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Volume 44 Number 2 2007
Pages 271 — 278


Abstract - Persistent benefits of rehabilitation on pain and life quality for nonambulatory patients with spinal epidural metastasis

Robert L. Ruff, MD, PhD;1-2* Suzanne S. Ruff, PhD;1 Xiaofeng Wang, PhD3

1Neurology and Spinal Cord Injury and Dysfunction Services, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; 2Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; 3Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Abstract — We determined whether the benefits of directed rehabilitation for pain, depression, and satisfaction with life persisted for veterans who were nonambulatory after spinal epidural metastasis (SEM) treatment. Twelve consecutive veterans (paraplegic after SEM treatment) who received 2 weeks of directed rehabilitation were compared with a historical control group of thirty paraplegic veterans who did not receive rehabilitation. Subjects were followed until death. Pain levels, depression, satisfaction with life, and consumption of pain medication were measured. Subjects who received rehabilitation had less pain, consumed less pain medication, were less depressed, and had higher satisfaction with life. The benefits to the rehabilitated subjects persisted until their deaths. We conclude that spinal cord injury rehabilitation for nonambulatory subjects with SEM produces persistent benefits for pain, depression, and satisfaction with life.

Key words: cancer rehabilitation, depression, metastatic cancer, pain, pain medication, rehabilitation, satisfaction with life, spinal cord compression, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, spinal epidural metastasis.


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