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SCI Nurs. 2001 Winter;18(4):181-6.

Optimizing health of individuals with tetraplegia.

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Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


People surviving spinal cord dysfunction with tetraplegia (SCDT) are returning earlier to their communities with the assistance of long-term health care providers (LTHP). However, the prevalence of rehospitalization following rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord dysfunction is high, with rates ranging from 19% to 57%. Rehospitalization is costly, both financially and personally, and may be preventable. Current literature suggests that education of the LTHP is essential to prevent rehospitalization of persons with SCDT. The Health Maintenance Education program was developed to optimize individual and societal outcomes of persons with SCDT through improvement of long-term health care. An educational program was designed for persons with SCDT and their LTHP; namely, community health nurses (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses), home health aides, personal care assistants, and family care providers. The program included three distinct educational phases, including a 1-day workshop, a collaborative home visit, and ongoing support and follow-up for 1 year. Satisfaction surveys indicated favorable responses to the overall program. Individual results of the program include improved knowledge, acquired resources, and updated equipment for the person with tetraplegia and the caregiver. Educational materials related to the management of persons with SCDT were provided to home care agencies for education of employees.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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