Dr. Michael Boninger interviews Dr.
Cheri Blauwet, author of the article entitled "Participation in
organized sports is positively associated with employment in adults with
spinal cord injury."
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the association between participation in organized sports programs and employment in adults with chronic spinal cord injury.
DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study of 149 adults with chronic spinal cord injury. Motor level and completeness of injury were confirmed by physical examination. Information related to demographics, employment, level of education, body mass index, duration of injury, participation in individually planned exercise, and participation in organized sports was obtained using a standardized questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with employment.
RESULTS: In univariate analyses, employment was associated with younger age (P = 0.001) and a higher level of education (P = 0.01), whereas obesity decreased the likelihood of employment (P = 0.04). Participation in organized sports approached significance (P = 0.06). In the multivariable analysis and after adjusting for age, education, and body mass index, participation in organized sports was significantly associated with employment (odds ratio, 2.4; P = 0.04). Sex, duration of injury, wheelchair use, and participation in individually planned exercise were not significantly associated with employment (P = 0.16-0.94).
CONCLUSIONS: In the adults with chronic spinal cord injury, participation in organized sports was positively associated with employment. Further studies are necessary to determine the causative nature of this association and how various factors related to sports participation may contribute.
Cheri Blauwet, MD is a Sports Medicine Fellow at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency training in PM&R at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she served as Chief Resident. Additionally, she is a former Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, competing for the United States Team in three Paralypmic Games (Sydney '00, Athens '04, Beijing '08) and bringing home a total of seven Paralympic medals. She is also a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and has been nominated for the ESPY Award, the Laureus World Sports Award, and Women's Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year. She is a member of the International Paralympic Committee Medical Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
A PDF transcript of the podcast is available for download by selecting the attached file below.