Quality of life among individuals with rugby-related spinal cord injuries in South Africa : A descriptive cross-sectional study
- Authors: Badenhorst, Marelise , Brown, James , Lambert, Mike , van Mechelen, Willem , Verhagen, Evert
- Date: 2018
- Type: Text , Journal article
- Relation: BMJ Open Vol. 8, no. 6 (2018), p. 1-12
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- Description: Objectives Rugby-related spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are rare but life altering and traumatic events. Little is known about the long-term consequences and outcomes of players who have sustained these injuries. This study investigated current quality of life (QoL) and factors associated with QoL, among individuals with rugby-related SCI in South Africa, by using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. Design Descriptive cross-sectional study. Setting Rugby-related SCI population of South Africa, as captured in the BokSmart/Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players' Fund database. Participants Ninety (n=90) of the 102 eligible players on the database agreed to participate in the study. Main outcome measure The relationship between QoL, as measured with the WHO Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) and specific independent variables (demographic information, level of independence and participation in various activities and life roles) was investigated. Variables that were significantly associated with QoL in bivariate analyses were included in multiple linear regression analyses. Results The mean score and SD of the WHOQOL-BREF was 15.1±2.3 arbitrary units. Participation (an ICF framework construct) and income were significantly associated with overall QoL (p<0.001). Participation was the only variable significantly associated with all QoL subdomains (p<0.001). Additionally, number of health concerns, type of healthcare (public vs private) and level of education were significantly associated with various QoL domains (p<0.001). Conclusions On average, these individuals with rugby-related SCI presented with higher QoL scores than other comparable SCI studies. However, lower levels of participation and income, certain levels of education, increased health concerns and use of public healthcare were associated with lower levels of QoL. Sporting bodies have a responsibility to optimise player welfare, by acting on the modifiable factors associated with QoL.
'In a blink of an eye your life can change ' : Experiences of players sustaining a rugby-related acute spinal cord injury
- Authors: Badenhorst, Marelise , Verhagen, Evert , Lambert, Michael , van Mechelen, Willem , Brown, James
- Date: 2019
- Type: Text , Journal article
- Relation: Injury Prevention Vol. 25, no. 4 (2019), p. 313-320
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- Description: Background Though rare, rugby union carries a risk for serious injuries such as acute spinal cord injuries (ASCI), which may result in permanent disability. Various studies have investigated injury mechanisms, prevention programmes and immediate medical management of these injuries. However, relatively scant attention has been placed on the player's experience of such an injury and the importance of context. Aim The aim of this study was to explore the injury experience and its related context, as perceived by the catastrophically injured player. Methods A qualitative approach was followed to explore the immediate, postevent injury experience. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 (n=48) players who had sustained a rugby-related ASCI. Results Four themes were derived from the data. Participants described the context around the injury incident, which may be valuable to help understand the mechanism of injury and potentially minimise risk. Participants also described certain contributing factors to their injury, which included descriptions of foul play and aggression, unaccustomed playing positions, pressure to perform and unpreparedness. The physical experience included signs and symptoms of ASCI that is important to recognise by first aiders, fellow teammates, coaches and referees. Lastly, participants described the emotional experience which has implications for all ASCI first responders. Significance All rugby stakeholders, including players, first responders, coaches and referees, may gain valuable information from the experiences of players who have sustained these injuries. This information is also relevant for rugby safety initiatives in shaping education and awareness interventions.