Review Article

Services and interventions needed to prevent secondary health conditions throughout the life span of people with spinal cord injury, South Africa

Sonti I. Pilusa, Hellen Myezwa, Joanne Potterton
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a881 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.881 | © 2022 Sonti I. Pilusa, Hellen Myezwa, Joanne Potterton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 April 2021 | Published: 11 November 2022

About the author(s)

Sonti I. Pilusa, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Hellen Myezwa, Faculty of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Joanne Potterton, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Current evidence suggests a need for a care model that supports the prevention of secondary health conditions in people with spinal cord injury. Multiple complex factors influence the prevention of secondary health conditions. There is a need for holistic and systems-based prevention approaches, which target multiple levels.

Objective: To identify the services and interventions needed to prevent secondary health conditions throughout the life span of people with spinal cord injury.

Method: We used a descriptive qualitative approach. Data was collected using focus group discussions with professionals in the rehabilitation field. The recorded group discussions were transcribed verbatim, and content analysis was conducted.

Results: Four focus group discussions were conducted. Four themes emerged from the analyses: patient-centred care, access to resources, promotion of health, and skilled healthcare workers.

Conclusions: The suggested services and interventions needed to prevent secondary health conditions target the individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), health providers, health systems care approach and other sectors outside the health system. These services and interventions will inform the development of a preventive care model.


Keywords

spinal cord injury; model of care; prevention; secondary health conditions; secondary complications.

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