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“Theory Does Not Get You From Bed to Wheelchair”

A Qualitative Study on Patients’ Views of an Education Program in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Bernet, Madeleine MScN1; Sommerhalder, Kathrin EMHP1; Mischke, Claudia MPH1; Hahn, Sabine1; Wyss, Adrian RN, DAS CPE2

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000175

Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate a new nurse-guided patient education program in spinal cord injury rehabilitation with particular focus on the patients’ perspectives and experiences.

Design Longitudinal qualitative study.

Methods We conducted face-to-face interviews with 10 rehabilitation patients and used the content analysis method to analyze the data.

Findings Patients emphasized the importance of the practical training of the education program. This impacted their well-being as well as their autonomy. They rated discussions with primary nurses and peers about physical or psychological concerns. However, after discharge, the learning process was ongoing, and patients experienced the transition to living at home as a major challenge.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance This research provides valuable information from the patients’ perspective for enhancing spinal cord injury patient education. Situational learning, based on the practical parts of patient education and working with peers, is highlighted.

1 Applied Research and Development in Nursing, Berne University of Applied Sciences, Berne, Switzerland

2 Nursing Development and Training, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil, Switzerland

Correspondence: Madeleine Bernet, MScN, Applied Research and Development in Nursing, Berne University of Applied Sciences, Murtenstrasse 10, 3008 Bern, Switzerland. E-mail:

Cite this article as: Bernet, M., Sommerhalder, K., Mischke, C., Hahn, S., & Wyss, A. (2019). “Theory does not get you from bed to wheelchair”: A qualitative study on patients’ views of an education program in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Nursing, 44(5), 247–253. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000175

Online date: June 9, 2018

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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