An investigation into the association between anxiety and depression and physical activity in individuals with a spinal cord injury

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University of New Brunswick


Introduction. People with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) are more likely to experience anxiety and depression and less likely to participate in physical activity (PA) than the general population. Little research, however, has investigated the relation between PA and mental health among individuals with a SCI. This study explored the complex relation between PA and mental health in people with a SCI and explored factors that might impact this relation (e.g., anxiety sensitivity). In addition, barriers to PA were investigated. Methods. Data were collected from 98 people with a SCI using an online self-report questionnaire package. Results. Anxiety and depression were associated with avoidance of PA while heightened anxiety sensitivity was associated with a higher likelihood of PA. The accumulated experience of barriers was associated with PA. Implications. The link between PA and mental health may not be as clear in SCI populations as in past research with able-bodied populations.