The role of mindfulness in quality of life of persons with spinal cord injury: a cross-sectional study.
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BACKGROUND: Quality of life is considered the most overarching psychosocial adaptation outcome following the rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord injury. Literature suggests that the quality of life of persons with spinal cord injury is determined by many personal and psychological factors, including mindfulness. This study aimed to identify the direct and indirect effect of mindfulness on the quality of life of persons living with spinal cord injury. METHODS: Participants consisted of 231 members of three spinal cord injury organizations in the United States: United Spinal Association, North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium, and Paralyzed Veterans of America-Wisconsin Chapter. The participants completed a set of standardized self-report questionnaires in an online Qualtrics survey. A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to identify the contribution of mindfulness to quality of life, controlling for sociodemographic and injury-related factors. A serial mediation analysis was performed to examine the indirect effect of mindfulness on quality of life. RESULTS: In the hierarchical regression analysis, sociodemographic and injury-related factors (i.e., age, gender, race, marital status, education, employment, level and completeness of injury, comorbidities, frequency of hospitalization, pain intensity, and functional limitation) and mindfulness explained 59% variance on quality of life of the participants with spinal cord injury. Mindfulness uniquely contributed to the higher quality of life above and beyond sociodemographic and injury-related variables. In the serial mediation analysis, pain and functional limitation did not significantly mediate the relationship between mindfulness and quality of life. However, the indirect effects of mindfulness on functional limitation and quality of life through pain were significant. CONCLUSION: The findings underscore the vital role of mindfulness in improving the quality of life of persons with spinal cord injury. Implications of these findings for future research and clinical practice are discussed.