Rehabilitation for participation in life after spinal cord injury – clinician responses to a preliminary conceptual framework
Delena Amsters , Melissa Kendall & Pim Kuipers
Purpose: To explore face validity of a preliminary conceptual framework for rehabilitation (the HEAR Framework), which is grounded in the narratives of people with spinal cord injury.
Methods: Using a quantitative online survey, experienced spinal cord injury rehabilitation practitioners were asked to compare the overall Framework, and its three components and nine elements, against usual practice. Participants rated the helpfulness and ease of implementation of each component. Perceived training needs, to support the implementation of the Framework were also explored. Respondents were given the opportunity to provide qualitative feedback about the Framework.
Results: Thirty-four participants completed the survey. Median rating of congruence of the Framework with usual practice was 6 (out of 10). The Help component of the Framework was rated as more like usual practice than the Encourage and Accept components. Median rating of the potential helpfulness to practice, of all the elements of the Framework was 5 (out of 5). Participants rated the elements within the Help component of the Framework as easiest to implement. Teaching assertiveness, promoting flexible thinking and fostering responsive communication were the highest rated training topics related to implementation of the Framework.
Conclusions: Face validity testing suggests the preliminary HEAR Framework is promising as a basis for spinal cord injury rehabilitation theory. Broad-based testing is required to progress the promise of the Framework.
IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION
- Spinal cord injury rehabilitation lacks conceptual frameworks to guide practice.
- This validity study suggests moderate alignment between the preliminary HEAR Framework and usual practice (based on the perceptions of professionals in a spinal cord injury service).
- The Framework may be useful to individual rehabilitation practitioners as a basis for clinical reflection.
- The Framework may be useful as a practice development tool for teams of rehabilitation practitioners.