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Spinal cord injuries often have psychological impact

Most people here in New York understand just how devastating an injury to the spinal cord can be for those who suffer one. Depending on the exact circumstances, a person with a spinal cord injury could have partial or full paralysis and struggle with basic human functions that those without injury may take for granted. What many don't realize is just how much of an impact this type of injury can have on a person's psychological well-being. Fortunately, researchers are working not only to raise awareness of this aspect of spinal cord injuries but also to develop tools that can help.

Researchers have created an electronic health tool called iManage-SCI to determine whether spinal cord injury patients may be suffering from psychological symptoms such as anxiety or depression. The tool assesses patients' mental health and also gives them action steps to take if needed. iManage-SCI will score the patients' responses and then provide them with animated videos that teach them how to manage psychological symptoms. The videos are tailored to patients' particular needs.

The developers are optimistic that this e-health tool will drastically improve the lives of patients with spinal cord injuries. They say that many people only think of the physical aspects of this type of injury, but the psychological ones are just as important. People with spinal cord injuries often report high levels of anxiety and depression compared to those without that kind of injury. Researchers are hopeful the program will continue to expand and improve as their work continues.

It cannot be overstated how much life can change for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. They may require extensive medical care for both physical and cognitive changes that they will experience. If a victim sustained the injury because of someone else's negligence, filing a personal injury claim may be a way to ensure that the person has the money needed to cover that care. Those here in New York who have questions may want to talk to an attorney to determine their options.

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