Research Output

Biographical disruption and the experience of loss following a spinal cord injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.

  Individual in-depth interviews with eight people who had experienced a total spinal cord injury were conducted, focussing on the experience of living with a spinal cord injury. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and were analysed for recurrent themes using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Here we present three inter-related recurrent themes: 'Loss of control'; 'Loss of independence' and 'Loss of identity'. Participants reported an ongoing sense of loss, characterised largely by a diminishing sense of personal control. This loss of personal control manifested itself in incontinence, emotion and loss of movement. Helplessness and embarrassment were common responses. A loss of independence was associated with incontinence but also with a loss of spontaneity. A loss of identity ensued and participants reported feeling 'invisible'. The findings are discussed in relation to both extant spinal cord literature and chronic health literature. Recommendations for future research are suggested.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 July 2008

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Taylor and Francis

  • DOI:

    10.1080/14768320701219136

  • ISSN:

    0887-0446

  • Library of Congress:

    RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610 Medicine & health

Citation

Dickson, A., Allan, D. & O'Carroll, R. E. (2008). Biographical disruption and the experience of loss following a spinal cord injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Psychology and Health. 23. doi:10.1080/14768320701219136. ISSN 0887-0446

Authors

Keywords

Spinal cord injury; loss; identity; incontinence; helplessness;

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