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Complex narratives among individuals with spinal cord injuries from gunshots Open Access (recommended)

Proceedings of Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Research Day, Los Angeles, CA.


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Meeting Abstracts
Spinal cord injury
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States

Haywood, Carol Eileen
Background Acts of violence, primarily gunshot wounds, are the third leading cause of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) in the US. However, little work has been done to understand whether mechanisms of SCI affect rehabilitation experiences.Purpose To carefully evaluate experiences and perspectives of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with SCIs from gunshot wounds in order to understand possible relationships among cause of injury and experiences in daily life.Methods Individual and group interviews were used to elicit narratives from life experiences for AYAs with a SCI (n=9) and their caregivers (n=8). This analysis focuses specifically on a subset of these data from participants who were injured by gunshot (n=5) and their caregivers (n=4). Data were analyzed categorically, thematically, and narratively within- and across-cases.Results For AYAs with SCIs from gunshots, rehabilitation was a type of moral endeavor, complicated by functional abilities and social influences. For some, SCIs were understood to be a chance to start fresh, re- create ones identity, and live a safer or more meaningful life. In other cases, SCIs perpetuated chaos within individual and family experiences.Conclusions Circumstances leading to SCIs by gunshots had remarkable effects on individual experiences and goals. While further research is warranted, findings indicate rehabilitative care should account for contextual factors, including mechanisms of injury, communities of residence, and availability of support.
Original Bibliographic Citation
Haywood, C. (2017). Complex narratives among individuals with spinal cord injuries from gunshots. Explorer, 9, 69.
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DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center
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