Quality of Life and Stress in Wheelchair-Users

  • M. Furlong
  • J. Connor
Reference work entry


Many diseases and injuries result in the need for either temporary or permanent wheelchair use and research now confirms that multiple dimensions of life are affected when significant disability occurs. These dimensions typically include increases in health concerns and health care burden; loss of  functional independence; reduced participation in social, occupational and recreational opportunities; and subsequent association with psychosocial sequelae. This chapter summarizes current literature on Quality of Life (QoL) in wheelchair-users. The review highlights that a wide range of generic QoL, health-related QoL and disability-specific QoL instruments are used across studies with largely inconsistent findings. There is now a growing movement towards the development of valid and reliable measures for use with people with a range of disabilities. Given the observed challenges of measuring the broad QoL construct in populations of wheelchair-users, more specific aspects of QoL such as levels of stress are now being investigated. It is proposed that these more specific QoL domains may be more accessible to measurement and to therapeutic interventions aiming to improve adjustment to disability. The development of the  Physical Disability Stress Scale (PDSS) is described with recommendations for future clinical and research application. A copy of the PDSS and its scoring instructions are appended.


Life Satisfaction Spinal Cord Injury Functional Independence Participation Restriction Disability Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


amount of assistance questionnaire


activities of daily living


appraisal of life events scale


the craig handicap assessment and reporting technique


Canadian occupational performance measure


disability and impact profile


expanded disability status scale




functional independence measure


general health questionnaire-28


hospital anxiety and depression scale


health-related quality of life


health utilities index II


instrumental activity measure


international classification of functioning, health and disability


life satisfaction questionnaire


multiple sclerosis


not applicable


Nottingham health profile


the physical activity scale of individuals with physical disabilities


 principal components analysis


physical disability stress scale


psychosocial impact of assistive devices scale


post-polio syndrome


quality of life


quality of life index


spinal cord injury


spinal cord injury quality of life questionnaire-23


spinal cord independence measure-III


standard deviation


short form-36


subjective quality of life scale


satisfaction with life scale


World Health Organization


World Health Organization Quality of Life


World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF


World Health Organization Quality of Life-Group


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Furlong
    • 1
  • J. Connor
    • 2
  1. 1.Diabetes and Endocrinology UnitPrincess Alexandra HospitalQLDAustralia
  2. 2.Discipline of PsychiatryThe University of Queensland, Mental Health Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalHerstonAustralia

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