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Subjective Well-Being in Persons Living With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: A Qualitative Study of Personal Journeys

Hunter Revell, Susan M.

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181ac3a7b
Article
Abstract

Living with a spinal cord injury is experienced as a lifelong process. Scientific knowledge, from an insider's perspective, about the relationship between subjective well-being and persons living with spinal cord injuries has been limited. This article reports part of a study that explored the role of subjective well-being and its connection to the phases of recovery in persons living with traumatic spinal cord injury. Using a framework described by H. J. Rubin and I. S. Rubin (2005), three in-depth interviews were carried out with four participants who had a traumatically acquired spinal cord injury and were living in the community. Interviews were audiotaped, and data analysis was ongoing. Well-being was present for each of the participants prior to their injuries and continued to be present during the phases of recovery. Well-being occurred both in the moment of experience and in the broader sense of achieving rehabilitation and life goals. Positive feelings were connected with making progress, being productive, returning to a routine, and sustaining relationships. Future research is needed to focus on how nurses can assist persons living with spinal cord injury to achieve goals, return to normalcy, and maintain well-being.

In Brief

Knowledge concerning the unique relationship between subjective well-being and persons living with spinal cord injuries has been limited to date. In this article, the author explores the role of subjective well-being-in the voices of individual patients-and its links to phases of recovery in this population.

Author Information

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Susan M. Hunter Revell, PhD RN, at susan.hunterrevell@umassd.edu. She is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA.

© 2009 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses