141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

In This section

292040
Perceived threat of and communication about subsequent injury among individuals with spinal cord injury

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Erin O. Heiden, MPH , Department of Community & Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Shelly Campo, PhD , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
Jingzhen Yang, PhD, MPH , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Marizen Ramirez, MPH, PhD , Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
John B. Lowe, DrPH, FAHPA, FAAHB , School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC QLD, Australia
Subsequent injuries are a threat to morbidity and mortality following spinal cord injury (SCI), however little is known about the experience and perceptions of subsequent injury among individuals with SCI. The aim of this study was to explore subsequent injury experiences among individuals with SCI, along with their perceived threat and perceived efficacy, and health locus of control in preventing subsequent injury. Semi-structured, in-person interviews were conducted with 14 individuals with SCI. Guided by the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM), an interactive qualitative approach was used to code the data into substantive and theoretical categories to describe the participants' concepts and beliefs related to subsequent injury and communication about injury prevention. All participants described at least one injury or near-injury event since their initial SCI. Most participants perceived injuries as a threat, particularly to time loss and loss of independence. Participants described feeling susceptible due to functional ability, sensory impairments, and their environment related to accessibility, weather, and emergencies. Overall, individuals with SCI recognized the importance of subsequent injury prevention, and were willing to take actions to prevent injuries. Increased self-efficacy to prevent subsequent injury was linked to better motor function, more time since initial SCI, more self-confidence and knowing the limits. The response-efficacy of formal and informal policies to prevent injury was mixed, especially when implemented without participant input. In conclusion, perceptions of threat and efficacy are important considerations in the development of messages to prevent subsequent injury among individuals with SCI.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe perceptions of threat and efficacy in the prevention of subsequent injury among individuals with spinal cord injury. Compare the differences in perceptions of efficacy of formal and informal policies to prevent subsequent injury in the workplace.

Keywords: Communication, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have investigated subsequent injury prevention among individuals with spinal cord injury using the Extended Parallel Process Model as part of my doctoral program in community and Behavioral Health with a Health Communication subtrack. My scientific interests include the use of communication theory in the study of injury prevention, health and safety for individuals with disabilities, and workplace wellness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.