Ethnicity and Age Issues: Attitudes Affecting Rehabilitation of Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury

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ABSTRACT.The individual with spinal cord injury, family, staff, and significant others bring attitudes regarding age and ethnicity into the rehabilitation team dynamic. Such preconceived attitudes may direct one's ability to be open to change and incorporate new information. The authors present 3 cases that highlight the bidirectional nature of bias challenges and the potential impact of bias issues on the hospital setting, staff, individual, family, and significant others. The bidirectional nature of bias challenges is illustrated with 2 cases of bias issues presented by individuals with spinal cord injury during hospitalization and with 1 case of bias impact on an individual health care provider. Interventions and strategies to maximize information sharing, education, and adjustment during hospitalization, discharge planning, and community living are discussed. Individuals may face increasing challenges in maximizing the derived benefit from both health care delivery and community services if personal bias plays a role in excluding qualified personnel from consideration.

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