DOI: 10.3390/jcm12247588 ISSN: 2077-0383

Activity-Based Therapy for Mobility, Function and Quality of Life after Spinal Cord Injuries—A Mixed-Methods Case Series

Camila Quel de Oliveira, Anita Bundy, James W. Middleton, Kathryn Refshauge, Kris Rogers, Glen M. Davis
  • General Medicine

(1) Background: Despite inconclusive evidence on the benefits of activity-based therapies (ABTs) in people with spinal cord injuries, implementation has occurred in clinics worldwide in response to consumers’ requests. We explored the clinical changes and participants’ perceptions from engaging in an ABT program in the community. (2) Methods: This mixed-methods study involved a pragmatic observational multiple-baseline design and an evaluation of participants’ perceptions. Fifteen participants were included. Outcome measures were balance in sitting using the Seated Reach Distance test, mobility using the Modified Rivermead Mobility Index and quality of life using the Quality of Life Index SCI version pre- and post-participation in an ABT community-based program. Linear mixed models and logistic regressions were used to analyse the effects of intervention. Semi-structured interviews explored participants’ perceptions using inductive thematic analysis. (3) Results: There was an increase of 9% in the standardised reach distance (95% CI 2–16) for sitting balance, 1.33 points (95% CI: 0.81–1.85) in mobility and 1.9 points (0.17–2.1) in quality of life. Two themes emerged from the interviews: (1) reduced impact of disability and an increased sense of life as before, and (2) the program was superior to usual rehabilitation. No adverse events related to the intervention were observed. (4) Conclusion: ABT delivered in the community improved clinical outcomes in people with a chronic SCI. High levels of satisfaction with the program were reported.

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