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Resilience and the rehabilitation of adult spinal cord injury survivors: A qualitative systematic review

Kornhaber, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6556-6775, McLean, L, Betihavas, V and Cleary, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1453-4850 2018 , 'Resilience and the rehabilitation of adult spinal cord injury survivors: A qualitative systematic review' , Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 74 , pp. 23-33 , doi:

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Aim: To synthesize the qualitative research evidence that explored how survivorsof adult spinal cord injury experience and make sense of resilience.Background: Spinal cord injury is often a sudden and unexpected life-changingevent requiring complex and long-term rehabilitation. The development of resilienceis essential in determining how spinal cord injury survivors negotiate this injury andrehabilitation.Design: A qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the researchevidence.Data sources: CINAHL, PubMed, Embase, Scopus and PsycINFO were searched, norestriction dates were used.Review methods: Methodological quality was assessed using the Critical AppraisalSkills Programme checklist. Thematic synthesis focused on how survivors of adultspinal cord injury experience and make sense of resilience.Results: Six qualitative research articles reported the experiences of 84 spinal cordinjury survivors. Themes identified were: uncertainty and regaining independence;prior experiences of resilience; adopting resilient thinking; and strengthening resiliencethrough supports.Conclusion: Recovery and rehabilitation following spinal cord survivors is influencedby the individual’s capacity for resilience. Resilience may be influenced by previouslife experiences and enhanced by supportive nursing staff encouraging self-efficacy.Survivors identified the need for active involvement in decision-making about theircare to enable a sense of regaining control of their lives. This has the potential tohave a significant impact on their self-efficacy and in turn health outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kornhaber, R and McLean, L and Betihavas, V and Cleary, M
Keywords: nursing, qualitative, rehabilitation, resilience, social support, spinal cord injuries, systematic review
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0309-2402
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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