The Contribution of Group Learning to the Rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injured Adults

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This study, which involved both quantitative and qualitative methods, investigated the contribution of group learning to the rehabilitation of spinal cord injured adults. The views of spinal cord injured persons, their families, and professional nurses involved in spinal cord injury rehabilitation were compared. A telephone questionnaire that measured attitudes toward group learning and gathered demographic data was administered to 60 adults with spinal cord injuries in northern Illinois. Data analysis indicated a range of positive attitudes for all subjects. Personal interviews then were conducted with 8 spinal cord injured persons, 6 family members, and 8 rehabilitation nurses to compare perceptions about the effects of group learning. All those interviewed stated that contact among spinal cord injured persons is an important factor in adjustment to the injury. Positive attitudes toward group learning were communicated by all three subject groups. Motivation, sharing of experiences, camaraderie with and support from peers, and knowledge that they were not alone were identified as advantages of group learning.

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