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  • 18 | Social Service Support In SCI Rehabilitation

18 | Social Service Support In SCI Rehabilitation

Importance of Social Services Support

General Introduction

For persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), there are issues beyond the physical disability, including financial and insurance issues, issues related to employment, and various other environmental factors, that often need to be addressed for rehabilitation and community reintegration to be successful. Social service support in rehabilitation is essential to help navigate through these issues.

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Conrad’s Story

Conrad’s Story

Conrad, a 57-year old Swiss border guard, sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) as a result of a surgical intervention performed to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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Major Environmental Factor


To get an overall picture of Conrad's functioning, the Rehab-Cycle® began with a comprehensive assessment that encompassed a series of discipline-specific testing and evaluations (health professional perspective), as well as a face-to-face interview with Conrad (patient perspective).

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Intervention Target: Accessibility Of Conrad's Home

Goal-setting/Determination of Intervention Targets

Having an overview of Conrad's functioning based on the rehabilitation team's assessment and Conrad's own statements about his situation facilitated the setting of mutual rehabilitation goals and identification of specific targets to address with interventions.

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Intervention To Address the Cycle Goal of Improve Mobility

Assignment and Intervention

While the social worker was responsible primarily for addressing Conrad's global goal, the other members of Conrad's rehabilitation team provided interventions that targeted the service-program goal, the three cycle goals, and the respective intervention targets.

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Issue Regarding Conrad's Wheelchair-inaccessible Home Still Unresolved


After four months of interventions, Conrad’s functioning was again assessed in order to evaluate whether changes had occurred and whether the goals Conrad and the rehabilitation team had set in the beginning of the Rehab-Cycle® had been achieved.

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The Road Ahead


For persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) participating in rehabilitation, social workers provide critical support for a range of socioeconomic issues that impact their return to the community .

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