A recent disability outcomes research study suggests that, among spinal cord injury (SCI) patients in New Jersey, residing in communities with greater mixed land use may be associated with poorer health.

The study, published recently in Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, was based on survey data from the federally funded Spinal Cord Injury System (SCIMS) database (n=503) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, according to a media release from Kessler Foundation.

Study author Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, states in the release that, “We found that living in areas with greater mixed land use (residential, commercial, industrial, recreational) was associated with poorer perceived health among people with SCI in New Jersey.”

“This contrasts with studies in the general population, which appears to benefit from living in more populated areas with mixed land use. What benefits the healthy population may not benefit people with limited mobility, such as individuals with SCI,” continues Botticello, a senior research scientist in Outcomes & Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation.

Botticello states in the release that understanding the relationship between disability and the environment is essential to supporting optimal adjustment in vulnerable populations, such as SCI patients.

“Including community risk factors in future investigations may help improve health and well-being by identifying individuals at risk for poorer outcomes,” she concludes.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, EurekAlert]