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.

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