Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Occupational Therapy -- methods; Spinal Cord Injuries -- therapy


Spinal cord injuries are complex and debilitating, affecting every aspect of a patient's life. This causes a general reduction in personal independence and social participation (Pillastrini et al., 2008). In order to provide effective and appropriate care, the interdisciplinary team must have extensive knowledge of the diagnosis and potential problems that the spinal cord patient may encounter. The purpose of this study was to identify successful interventions for an effective occupational therapy approach and to develop an education manual for use in the rehabilitation setting in order for entry-level therapists to develop competency.

Based on information found in the literature review, previous continuing educational courses, and expertise of the author, a training/educational manual was developed. This resource addresses major areas of spinal cord care commonly treated by occupational therapy in a rehabilitation setting. The manual consists of major areas of spinal cord care, with each topic divided into applicable areas of treatment. Each section contains an overview of the topic, objectives for learning, precautions and contraindications, applicable treatment and possible use of adaptive equipment. This educational resource will be presented to the spinal cord development team for approval and suggestions and then to the occupational therapy team for implementation. Continued training and education for staff will provide a true collaborative effort for inpatient care and potentially increase functional independence of the patient at time of discharge (Pillastrini et al., 2008).