Resilience following spinal cord injury: A phenomenological view

K. R. Monden, Z. Trost, Denise Catalano, A. N. Garner, J. Symcox, S. Driver, R. G. Hamilton, A. M. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Study design:Qualitative research design involving semi-structured focus groups.Objectives:To increase current understanding of how persons with spinal cord injuries (SCI) define resilience and what factors contribute to their resilience or the resilience of others.Setting:Inpatient rehabilitation program in a large urban city in the Southwestern United States.Methods:A convenience sample of 28 participants (14 current patients; 14 former patients) participated in semi-structured focus groups led by the research investigators.Results: Through a constant comparative analysis of the data, six themes emerged in participants' responses regarding what they believed contributed to their own resilience in adapting to SCI. The six themes included psychological strength, social support, perspective, adaptive coping, spirituality or faith, and serving as a role model or inspiring others.Conclusion:Consistent with previous research findings, individuals with SCI identified positive thinking (for example, optimism, hope and positive attitude), perseverance and determination, and social support from friends and family as important contributors to their ability to adapt in spite of experiencing traumatic events that resulted in SCI. Findings provide richness and depth to current empirical conceptualizations of resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • focus groups
  • qualitative research
  • resilience
  • spinal cord injury


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