Co-occurring medical and mental illness and substance use disorders among veteran clinic users with spinal cord injury patients with complexities

R. Banerjea, P. A. Findley, B. Smith, T. Findley, U. Sambamoorthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study design:Longitudinal analysis of SCI registry merged with VHA administrative-data and Medicare claims files (FY1999-2002).Objectives:To estimate the prevalence of mental illness (MI) and substance use disorders (SUDs) among veteran health administration (VHA) clinic users with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and examine subgroup variations by demographic, socioeconomic characteristics, and duration and level of SCI.Setting:VHA clinic users (N8338) with SCI who were alive by the end of FY2002.Methods:ICD-9-CM codes were used to identify individual MI (anxiety disorders, bipolar, depressive disorders, psychoses, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia) and categories of SUDs (tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse). Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression were used to examine the demographic and socio-economic profile of VHA users with SCI and MI and/or SUD.Results:Over a 2-year period, 46% VHA users with SCI had either a MI or SUDs: 20% had MI only; 12% had SUD only and 14% had both. The most common MI was depressive disorder (27%) and tobacco use was highly prevalent (19%). African-Americans (versus whites) were less likely to be diagnosed with MI only. Increased duration of SCI lowered the likelihood of MI and/or SUDs. Mood and anxiety disorders were highly prevalent in veterans with SCI with chronic physical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and respiratory diseases.Conclusions: Mental illness and SUDs are highly prevalent in the VHA population with SCI and is complicated by the high rates of chronic physical conditions, presenting challenges in their healthcare management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume47
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Complex chronic care
  • Mental illness
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Substance abuse
  • Veterans; chronic conditions

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