Appraisals of DisAbility Primary and Secondary Scale—Short Form (ADAPSS−sf): Psychometrics and association with mental health among U.S. military veterans with spinal cord injury.

Objective: Cognitive appraisals, that is, interpretations of what is observed and the personal relevance attributed to those observations, affect one’s behavior and well-being. Despite the centrality of appraisals in the transactional model of stress and coping, the application of spinal cord injury (SCI)-specific appraisals to adjustment is a recent development. This study examined the psychometric properties of a measure of SCI-specific appraisals, the Appraisals of DisAbility Primary and Secondary Scale—Short Form (ADAPSS−sf). Method: A retrospective study using clinical data from SCI annual evaluations at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center was employed (N = 262). Results: Findings supported the ADAPSS−sf’s 2-factor structure of catastrophic negativity and determined resilience. SCI appraisals were associated with mental health concerns, mental disorders, life satisfaction, racial minority status, age, SCI severity (based on the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale [AIS]), and SCI etiology (traumatic or nontraumatic). Counterintuitively, those with less severe injuries (i.e., AIS D) had the greatest catastrophic negativity. Although veterans with SCI were heterogeneous in their appraisals, it is encouraging that they tended to endorse determined resilience and disavow catastrophic negativity. Conclusions: The ADAPSS−sf demonstrated many desirable characteristics, including brevity, convergent validity, and face-valid content. An implication of this study is that to understand the adjustment experience, one must look beyond injury severity and impairment to the individual’s personal and subjective experience of SCI. The ADAPSS−sf offers clinicians and researchers a potentially valuable tool to assess SCI appraisals and personalize treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)