Spinal cord injury and substance use: A systematic review

P. Lusilla-Palacios, Carmina Castellano-Tejedor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, Edita Socidrogalcohol. All rights reserved. The objective of this study was to review recent findings about the prevalence of substance use (SU) and substance use disorders (SUD), and to discuss the related impact on health in spinal cord injury (SCI) population. For this purpose, computer-aided searches of MEDLINE (PubMed) and the Cochrane Library were conducted. From an initial pool of 59 articles, 52 met the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies referred to alcohol and tobacco and only a few studies reported on other substances. Study designs were mainly cross-sectional and descriptive, with scarce intervention and longitudinal studies. Although a high prevalence of post-injury SU has been documented among SCI patients, limited research exists on pre-injury SU and on longitudinal studies. Moreover, when exploring SUD, it has not been systematically studied in accordance with CIE or DSM criteria. Alcohol appears to be the most consumed substance among this population. Additionally, those patients with SU have shown poorer outcomes in different health indicators. Therefore, more insight is required to increase scientific knowledge in this field and to recommend tailored preventive interventions and research priorities in relation to this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-311
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


  • Addictive behaviours
  • Health outcomes
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Substance use
  • Substance use disorders


Dive into the research topics of 'Spinal cord injury and substance use: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this