The Beginning of a New Life Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury- Patient’s Experiences One Month Post-Discharge

Bodil Bjørnshave Noe, Merete Bjerrum, Sanne Angel

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Introduction: Studies show that individuals having suffered traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) are challenged by barriers and problems in their transition from hospital rehabilitation to home. This study aims to explore patients’ first-hand experiences of returning home and to compare their post-discharge experiences with their pre-discharge expectations. Method: A qualitative follow-up study using inductive contents analysis. One month post-discharge, we reinterviewed seven Danish TSCI-patients, admitted for initial rehabilitation at the Spinal Cord Injury Centre of Western Denmark. Findings: We identified two categories from the interviews: “The body as a fatiguing time-consumer causing dependence”, “The need for timely cooperation and collaboration”. The transversal analyses revealed the overall theme “Timing” highlighting the experiences of returning home. Conclusion: Patients´ early post-discharge period is complicated by lack of timing in establishing training possibilities and providing equipment needed. This has consequences for the individual in terms of setbacks, and it imposes a burden on the patient, partner and close family. Hope of further progress was dominant, while delays threaten this hope for progress. In order to promote a smooth and safe return to home timing seems of crucial importance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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