Designing a community reintegration programme for individuals with a traumatic spinal cord injury in the Cape Metropolitan area
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Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition often affecting young and healthy individuals around the world. This debilitating condition not only creates enormous physical and emotional suffering to individuals but also is a significant financial burden to families and society at large and it affects quality of life. Successful community reintegration following spinal cord injury is considered an important goal of rehabilitation as this has been positively associated with self-esteem, life satisfaction and quality of life. The overall aim of the study was to design a community reintegration programme for individuals who sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) in the Cape Metropolitan Area. The design of this study was a mixed method design including four phases. The first phase of the study was to determine the base line information regarding reintegration into communities after sustaining a TSCI and included 108 participants. Data was collected by use of self-administered/interview administered questionnaire. The results of this phase demonstrated that community reintegration of individuals who sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury was relatively low and employment was found to be a statistically significant variable influencing community reintegration following the injury. The second phase of the study aimed to gain a deeper understanding of how employment and other factors influence reintegration into communities after the injury.