Research Alert

Newswise — The narratives of patients and families with spinal cord injury tell the story of how people make sense of the injury and the rehab experience. Reading these stories provides insight for the rehabilitation nurse to better understand the illness experience from the patient and family perspective– which in turn – can help identify nursing interventions to assist in those experiences. Read Constructing Recovery Narratives: Experiences and Expectations Following SCI.



This study aimed to explore how married individuals construct narratives following spinal cord injury (SCI).


Prospective qualitative study.


Eighteen married people with SCI were recruited during inpatient hospitalization. In-depth interviews were conducted at approximately 1, 4, and 7 months post-SCI. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.


Participants constructed three primary narrative types (optimistic, anxious, and stability) about their trajectories following SCI, focusing on their expectations about recovery and their past and current experiences with their spouse, peers, and health professionals. These narrative types are the foundation for understanding how people make sense of the rehabilitation experience in relation to others.


Findings provide an initial understanding of how expectations of life with SCI as well as social interactions in the healthcare setting influence experiences of injury and recovery.

Clinical Relevance 

Findings can inform future interventions during SCI rehabilitation to ease transitions and decrease anxiety following SCI.

Journal Link: Rehabilitation Nursing

Register for reporter access to contact details

Rehabilitation Nursing