National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Webcast 10
Racial/Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Health Outcomes of Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

July 30, 2008, 2:00 PM (CDT)

About the Webcast

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine reviewed and summarized the literature pertaining to racial disparities in health care by concluding that there is clear and convincing evidence that racial and ethnic disparities are consistent across a wide range of outcomes and services. This difference becomes even more critical when examining outcomes of persons with disabilities, especially persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). As the SCI population is predominantly composed of young white males, women and minorities have been traditionally underrepresented in SCI research. It is important to investigate outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities and women as there may be a different pattern of behaviors, community integration, and subjective outcomes after SCI.

This webcast will focus on the results of several NIDRR-funded projects, two of which oversampled women and racial/ethnic minorities. Both studies were collaborative in nature and involved data collection sites across the United States (Georgia, Colorado, and California). The first study was conducted in 1997 and 1998 and had 512 participants. Forty percent of the sample was female (about twice that found in the SCI population). The racial/ethnic breakdown was as follows: 25% Caucasian, 24% African-American, 21% American Indian, 24% Hispanic, and 7% Asian.

In the second study, which was a six year follow-up to the first study, there were a total of 250 participants. Additional data are drawn from a health study of just under 1400 participants with SCI and a 30 year longitudinal study. The variables of interest include community reintegration, depression, life satisfaction, pressure ulcers, general and SCI-specific healthcare, and social support. Major findings will be highlighted and discussed from the standpoint of their interpretation, clinical implications, and needs for further research.

About the Presenters

Photo of James S. Krause
James Krause, PhD

James S. Krause, Ph.D., holds the rank of Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical Research in the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is Director of the Program for Movement, Exercise, and Rehabilitative Research, a university-funded program, serves as Director for the Center for Interdisciplinary Spinal Cord Injury Research, and serves as Scientific Director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund. In terms of consumer affiliation, Dr. Krause is a member of the governing Board of Directors of the Disability Resource Center in Charleston and works closely with the Director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association helping to facilitate statewide dissemination of research. He has served as Principal Investigator and Project Director on several long-term outcomes research projects, including 11-year, 15-year, 20-year, 25-year, 30-year, and 35-year longitudinal SCI studies, two longitudinal studies of vocational interests and SCI, two studies of 10-year risk for secondary conditions, and four studies of mortality (a total of nine field-initiated grants through NIDRR and three R01s from NIH). He has also served as Principal Investigator of three projects within the Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems (supported by NIDRR) and currently serves as consultant on the Georgia Regional MSCIS. Dr. Krause has authored over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has made over 100 presentations at national and international professional conferences.

Karla Reed is currently a Project Coordinator at MUSC. Mrs. Reed holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston and will complete a Master of Arts in Psychology at The Citadel in August 2008. She has worked with Dr Krause for almost two years as the Project Coordinator of three federally funded grants. Her previous work included data collection and organization of a randomized clinical trial for smoking cessation and a randomized clinical trial for cocaine dependence. Mrs. Reed has assisted in preparation of presentations for professional conferences, dissemination of publications, has served as a co-author on a published article, and has presented at national conferences of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Southeastern Psychological Association.

Jennifer Coker, MPH, is currently a Project Coordinator at MUSC. Ms. Coker obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in May 2001. She has worked with Dr. Krause for over a decade on federally funded disability grants that focus on long-term outcomes and aging. While working at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, Ms. Coker was the Project Coordinator for several federally funded studies with Dr. Krause as the PI, including the Georgia Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System. Later, Ms. Coker was Project Coordinator for the Georgia Brain Injury Model System. Ms. Coker has continued her role as Project Coordinator for seven federally funded grants at MUSC. Ms. Coker has presented research at national conferences of the American Spinal Injury Association, American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers, the American Public Health Association, and the American Psychological Association. In addition, Ms. Coker has won several awards for research presentations and work with persons with disabilities, including best paper and best poster at Shepherd Center Research Day (2000), and the James W. Alley Award for Outstanding Service to Disadvantaged Populations (2001) presented by Emory University.

Randy Smith Sr. was born in James Island, South Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree from Limestone College and he has completed graduate coursework at Webster University. Mr. Smith is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Navy and he is currently involved in several community-based initiatives. Mr. Smith has worked as a counselor for the elderly, people with mental and physical disabilities, and youth.

NIDRR-funded Field Initiated Project: Participation, Subjective Well-Being, Health, and Spinal Cord Injury: A 35-Year Longitudinal Study (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC)

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This webcast is supported through the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education, and is supported in part by ILRU. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred.

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