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J Spinal Cord Med. 2018 Jun 8:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2018.1481693. [Epub ahead of print]

Applications of complementary therapies during rehabilitation for individuals with traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Findings from the SCIRehab Project.

Author information

1
a Shirley Ryan Abilitylab , Chicago , Illinois , USA.
2
b Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences , Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine , Chicago , Illinois , USA.
3
c Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University , Chicago , Illinois , USA.
4
d Department of Medical Social Sciences , Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine , Chicago , Illinois , USA.
5
e Department of Psychology , Syracuse University , Syracuse , New York , USA.
6
f Indiana University , Bloomington , Indiana , USA.
7
g Northwestern University , Evanston , Illinois , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evaluate the use of complementary therapies during rehabilitation for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).

DESIGN:

Secondary analyses were conducted to identify the use and associated outcomes of complementary therapies provided by occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) during rehabilitation from a public dataset.

SETTING:

Inpatient rehabilitation.

PARTICIPANTS:

A public dataset composed of 1376 patients with SCI that were enrolled in a five-year, multi-center investigation, the SCIRehab Project. Secondary analyses focused on a subset of 93 patients (47 who received complementary therapy during treatment and 46 case-matched controls who received no complementary therapy).

INTERVENTIONS:

OTs and PTs recorded use of complementary therapies during sessions, including yoga, Pilates, tai chi, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques, imagery and other.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pain interference, pain severity, mobility, and social integration.

RESULTS:

Three percent of participants received any complementary therapies. Patients who received complementary therapies showed greater reductions in pain severity from 6 months to 12 months relative to matched controls. Furthermore, the amount of time that patients received complementary therapies during physical therapy sessions was associated with reduced pain interference at 6 months and with reduced pain severity at the 6-month and 12-month follow-ups. Complementary therapy use was not associated with mobility or social integration.

CONCLUSION:

The current study provides preliminary evidence documenting the limited use of complementary therapies in rehabilitation settings and highlights the opportunity for further research, particularly regarding pain-related outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Complementary Therapies; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy; Rehabilitation; Spinal Cord Injuries

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