Perceived Self Post-Intervention in Men with Spinal Cord Injury
(School of Public Health (UMD) Kinesiology Undergraduate Student)
Objectives: Over 280,000 individuals are living in the United States with spinal cord injury (SCI) occurring at a rate of 17,000 new cases per year. Approximately 80% of these new cases occur in men between the ages of 29 to 42. SCI affects motion and sensation below the site of injury, including sexual function. Sexual function is a major area of concern for young men with SCI whom are considered to be in their sexual prime. Sexuality is directly related to one’s quality of life but can be significantly impacted by SCI depending on its severity. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common cause of SCI that can lead to low self-esteem and depression. Previous research identified that there is a strong correlation between suicide and depression. To improve sexual incompetence in young men with SCI educational and intervention programs should be implemented. There are many treatment options available to ensure a continued healthy sex life post-injury; however, often men with SCI are unaware of these resources. Approach: Our planned intervention provides men with SCI provided with treatment information options currently available for ED that include: penile implants, vacuum erection devices (VED), penile injections, urethral & oral medication, and sexual positions/techniques. In addition, insurance literacy information is included to assist in exploring their insurance coverage. Post education, patients will be mailed a survey to complete which includes a depression screening and Rosengberg self-esteem test. SCI focus group sessions will address the topic of sexual health at least twice per year. Intervention/Findings: Treatment interventions include pictorial presentations with caption explanations of • The spinal cord • Implant devices as inserted into an anatomical diagram • Insurance Fact Sheet Results will be compared to men with SCI who utilized at least one treatment option and engages in sexual activity to those who do not. Conclusions/Public Health Significance: In typically functioning individuals, sexual intercourse enhances the cardiovascular and immune systems as well as positively influencing psychosocial health. Unfortunately, SCI in young men poses a barrier to these health benefits. The goal of this concept will increase awareness as well as offering alternative aide to those affected. This study can be utilized as the foundation to understanding health outcomes in young men with SCI through analyzing their ratings of depression and self-esteem.