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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Incomplete Support Parkinson, Melanie


Incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI) refers to a spinal cord injury (SCI) leaving a person with considerable sensation and function below the site of the injury. Impairments caused by the injury can often be invisible, and people who sustain an ISC I yet retain the ability to walk face unique psychosocial issues. With a view to documenting their experience and the implications for support services, I conducted a focus group study with six adults who have sustained an ISCI, and who can walk. The findings of this qualitative study reveal that the impairments associated with ISCI are largely misunderstood by society in general, and by those who shape services designed to support people with disabilities. Lack of understanding can lead to denial of appropriate resources that would facilitate achievement of a satisfactory quality of life. This study is based in structural theory and aims to shed light on the broad socio-political context.

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