A 62 page research paper that provides a comprehensive synopsis of the literature on the physical, emotional and psychosocial issues and challenges the spinal cord-injured patient must face. Besides the obvious physical challenges, there are numerous secondary medical and health conditions that can and often do emerge during the months and years following this type of injury. There are also any number of emotional and psychosocial issues and challenges. Both the patient and the patient's family experience a range of emotions. There are some consistent variables in the literature that influence how well the patient and the family adjust and move past the injury. These include available resources, emotional support and the strength of the family unit. Other variables found particularly important in the patient's recovery are attitude toward life and the opportunity to work or to be productive. The information presented in this article also includes implications for nursing. One of the objectives for this paper is publication. Subheadings include: introduction, purpose, justification, theoretical framework, objectives, methodology, definitions, economic impact of injury, physical and health issues and challenges, emotional and psychosocial issues and challenges, impact and challenges for the family, implications for nursing, conclusion and abstract. Statistical data included. 5 Tables included. Bibliography lists 45 sources.
Send Me This Paper »
Back to Results
a persons world will be changed forever. Like a ripple on the water, one injured family member affects the entire family system" (Gill, 1999, p. 1). Approximately 10,000 Americans sustain
spinal cord injury each year (Chase, Cornille and English, 2000; Dreher, 1996). Half of all spinal cord injuries occur in individuals between the ages of 15 and 29 (Dreher, 1996).
Almost half of all traumatic spinal cord injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents, including automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, etc. (Dreher, 1996; Fick & Petty, 2000). Traumatic spinal cord injuries
affect all areas in the patients life and in the patients familys life. Although loved ones first deal with the shock and worry for the patient, they soon must face
the fiscal ramifications beginning with hospital bills that are typically in excess of $100,000 and can total nearly a half-million dollars during the first year following the injury (Fick &
Petty, 2000). The patient first must face the many challenges associated with losing sensation and function of organs, muscles and nerves. Furthermore, there are any number of secondary conditions arising
from spinal cord injuries, including renal failure, respiratory conditions and cardiovascular conditions (Jackson, 2000). Family members and any care takers must always be on the alert for any changes in
blood pressure, urinary tract, and body temperature (Jackson, 2000). Muscles must be exercised on a regular basis because they will atrophy and this will cause further health and physical problems
(Jackson, 2000). Pain management is also important in the care of a spinal cord injury patient (Jackson, 2000). Gill (1999) commented: "the psychosocial and emotional ramifications of spinal cord injury
(SCI) are monumental, with a myriad of experiences and events the injured person will encounter" (p. 1). Depression is common with spinal cord injuries (Gill, 1999). Depression in conjunction with