An analysis of the experience of the acute phase of traumatic spinal cord injury in a South African spinal unit

Gaitelband, Philip Joseph (1996) An analysis of the experience of the acute phase of traumatic spinal cord injury in a South African spinal unit. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This study aims to explore, and to a certain extent to clarify, what it means psychologically to experience Traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) in a South African spinal unit. The target time chosen for analys~~·is the acute medical period. The study presents a review of the literature on psychological adjustment to TSCI and then proceeds to introduce and extensively articulate the hermeneutic approach and methodology. Subsequently, an interpretive research strategy is present~d for the purpose of studying the acute phase of TSCI. The data £or the study was obtained by means of three dialogical interviews which were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed with~n a cyclical framework consisting of three interdependent levels. The interpretive procedure is modeled upon the 'reading guide' developed by Brown, Tappan, Gilligan, Miller and Argyris (1989). The analysis follows a course from the individual psychologicil descriptions of the experience to the generation of a general, nomothetic narrative account of the acute phase. The findings are then discussed in relation to the existing literature and evaluated on the basis of the goals of the study. The study highlights the value of some of the 'stage' ways of thinking about SCI adjustment, while simultaneously stressing the need for placing adjustment within a more personalized, and individually meaningful context. Significant differences between the psycho-physical experiences of patients in the categories of complete and -incomplete SCI were found, which suggests that a sharper distinction be made in the literature between these two groups, in order to account for the marked variations in their experiences.-- ~he study also contains a number of shortcomings, such as a lack of understanding about certain historical and contextual factors which may have mediated the experiences of the trauma for the individuals concerned. These shortcomings and some suggestions fro their resolution are then discussed. The study concludes with an evaluation of the research strategy and methodology and also offers some suggestions for future research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Spinal cord, Trauma, Injury, Psychology
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
Supervisors:Kelly, Kevin
ID Code:3215
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:27 Aug 2012 14:29
Last Modified:27 Aug 2012 14:29
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