Barriers and facilitators of education provided during rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries: A qualitative description


BackgroundAfter a spinal cord injury (SCI), individuals must acquire their maximum level of independence before returning to their previous social and working conditions. The education provided during rehabilitation is one of the basic but complex aspects that influence the health perspectives of people with SCI. Gaining the perspective of SCI survivors experienced barriers and resources to enhance the education process may assist healthcare professionals in understanding this complex aspect of their practice. Through a qualitative descriptive analysis, this study aimed to identify the perceived barriers and facilitators of education provided during the rehabilitation of individuals with SCI.MethodsA purposive sample of 22 adults with SCI and at least six months of home experience was recruited. Participants were assigned into four mini focus groups according to their level of independence. The focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using a thematic analysis.ResultsThree themes were identified: the readiness to education, the individual characteristics, and the environmental and social characteristics influencing education. Participants perceived education to be an ongoing process made up of consecutive phases, each of which had to be overcome before participants felt ready to reappraise their health and well-being. This process was affected by individual, environmental, and social factors.ConclusionsEducation is constantly provided by all members of the rehabilitation team. These must stress the relevance of the contents presented, increase SCI survivors' motivation to set achievable goals, and consider filling the gap that the patients perceive between rehabilitation centres and available community resources. The findings of this study promote the design of structured educational programmes, increasing knowledge, and improve the health perspective of SCI survivors, their families, and providers

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