Purpose: This qualitative descriptive study explored participants’, with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), experiences with meaningful intensive task specific training (ITST). Methods: Three participants completed 24-ITST upper extremity motor therapy intervention sessions. Qualitative interviews were completed at three time points for a case series: baseline, within 7 days of the completion of the final ITST intervention session, and within one month of the final ITST intervention session for a total of 9 interviews. Results: Three themes were identified including: Quality of Movement Enhances Normal Use of Hands, Empowering Through Education and Motivation to Participate and Enhance Quality of Life. Through the use of motor learning concepts, positive reinforcement, and education positive outcomes were reported and promoted self-efficacy in all participants. Conclusions: A collaborative and client-centered approach to rehabilitation with a focus on performance-based goals was found to increase self-efficacy leading to greater independence and self-determination for participants. Interventions focusing on meaningful client-centered occupations are recommended. Individuals with chronic SCI typically do not have access to rehabilitation services and more research is needed on interventions to further explore the benefits of additional rehabilitation services and an increased focus on practitioner education on optimal interventions for chronic injury populations.
Acknowledgments: This project was funded by the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation to Lumy Sawaki, MD, PhD (Award number: 3048114338). The grant was awarded while she was employed at the University of Kentucky. The opinions expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not reflect the view of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the US government. The authors would also like to express their appreciation to Dr. Sara Salles for her referral of participants for this study. Clinical Trial Registry: NCT03954496
Glueck AC, Humphrey CE, Salmon Powell E, Ginn CC, Custer MG, Skubik-Peplaski CL. Improving Hand Recovery in Tetraplegia Through the use of Meaningful Occupations: A Qualitative Case Series. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Sep 21;21(4), Article 11.