An Exploration of the Lived Experiences of the Caregiving Role and Life Satisfaction in Caregivers Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
AuthorMcCoy, Ashley D.
AdvisorDeBoor, Stephanie S.
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Research shows that approximately 12,500 new spinal cord injuries occur each year, which poses a drastic life change for the person who sustained the injury and their closest family members and friends who often times become the ones who care for them in the community. Due to this new, unexpected caregiving role, research shows that many are often unprepared to care for the spinal cord injured person once they are discharged from one of the inpatient settings. The purpose of this study was to explore and examine the lived experiences of caregivers of spinal cord injury individuals. The results of this inquiry may benefit clinicians, patients, and caregivers with shared experiences and may help educate and guide future caregiver relationships. This study was guided utilizing van Manen’s six research activities of qualitative inquiry. Participants were recruited for this study through purposeful sampling until data saturation occurred. A total of six participants were recruited for this study; five completed the study. Face-to-face, audio-recorded interviews were conducted. Colaizzi’s 7-step approach was used for data analysis. Six main themes and two subthemes were identified during the interviews, which provided the overall essence to this qualitative study.