Research Article
Issue Date: January/February 2021
Published Online: December 02, 2020
Updated: December 14, 2020
Pilot Study of a Self-Management Program for Parents With Spinal Cord Injury or Disease
Author Affiliations
  • Carla Wilson Walker, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, is Instructor, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; walkerc@wustl.edu
  • Mary Holowatuk, MSOT, OTR/L, is Acute Care Occupational Therapist, Anderson Hospital, Maryville, IL.
  • Jessica Dashner, OTD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 02, 2020
Pilot Study of a Self-Management Program for Parents With Spinal Cord Injury or Disease
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2020, Vol. 75, 7501205070. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.036574
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2020, Vol. 75, 7501205070. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.036574
Abstract

Importance: This study lays the groundwork for a self-management program run by occupational therapy practitioners for parents with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D).

Objective: To develop and implement the Parenting Self-Management Program with people with SCI/D and evaluate the potential impact on knowledge, self-efficacy, and participation.

Design: A mixed-methods approach was used to develop (Phase 1) and implement and evaluate (Phase 2) a pilot group intervention for parents with SCI/D.

Setting: Community-based occupational therapy settings.

Participants: Phase 1 participants were professionals working in the field of disability and SCI/D (n = 11) and experienced parents with SCI/D (n = 9). Phase 2 participants were people with SCI/D who were newly injured or inexperienced in parenting (n = 10). All participants were paid volunteers.

Intervention: The 4-wk Parenting Self-Management Program was piloted with 10 parents with SCI/D. Participants attended a weekly program with other parents with SCI/D led by occupational therapists in which they received parenting resources and presentations and set weekly goals.

Outcomes and Measures: The General Self-Efficacy Scale, a modified version of the Participation Survey/Mobility, and open-ended questions regarding parents’ participation in parenting tasks were administered during Phase 2.

Results: Significant increases (p < .05) in perceived knowledge were found for the topics of emergency preparedness, home modifications, adapted equipment, fatigue management, pain management, and community resources among Phase 2 participants.

Conclusions and Relevance: A self-management approach combined with pertinent resources for parents with SCI/D yielded positive outcomes.

What This Article Adds: This research demonstrates that a self-management structure for a specific population (people with SCI/D) in combination with a targeted occupation (parenting) and delivered through group occupational therapy services, improved client outcomes.