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Posttraumatic growth after spinal cord injury: predictors, correlates and adaptive significance. A longitudinal study

English title Posttraumatic growth after spinal cord injury: predictors, correlates and adaptive significance. A longitudinal study
Applicant Geyh Szilvia
Number 149284
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Schweizer Paraplegiker-Forschung AG
Institution of higher education Swiss Paraplegic Research - SPF
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.09.2014 - 31.03.2018
Approved amount 177'785.00
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Keywords (5)

psychosocial resources; spinal cord injury; coping; adjustment process; posttraumatic growth

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Traumatische Lebensereignisse wie eine Querschnittlähmung können das Leben trotz schwerwiegender Folgen positiv verändern. Die Bedeutung von positiv bewerteten Veränderungen im Bewältigungsprozess nach einer Querschnittlähmung wird gezielt erforscht.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Eine Querschnittlähmung hat schwerwiegende Folgen für das Leben der betroffenen Menschen. Trotzdem berichten Menschen mit einer Querschnittlähmung häufig von positiv bewerteten persönlichen Veränderungen (posttraumatisches Wachstum), welche sie als Folge ihrer Verletzung wahrnehmen. Beispiele hierfür sind ein Zuwachs an persönlicher Stärke oder eine höhere Wertschätzung des Lebens.

Im vorliegenden Projekt wird die Rolle und Bedeutung solcher positiven Veränderungen für den Bewältigungsprozess bei Personen mit einer Querschnittlähmung untersucht, welche eine Erstrehabilitation durchlaufen. Dabei stehen drei Aspekte im Vordergrund: Erstens wird untersucht, wie positiv bewertete persönliche Veränderungen und das körperliche und mentale Wohlbefinden zusammenhängen. Zweitens widmet sich das Projekt dem Entstehungsprozess von positiven Veränderungen und erforscht, ob personen- oder umgebungsbezogene Faktoren deren Entstehung begünstigen. Drittens wird das Augenmerk auf die Frage gerichtet, inwieweit die erlebten positiven Veränderungen realen Veränderungen entsprechen, welche im Laufe der Rehabilitation eingetreten sind.

 

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Der Fokus auf positiv erlebte persönliche Veränderungen als Folge von traumatischen Lebensereignissen ermöglicht es, potentiell stärkende personen- oder umgebungsbezogene Faktoren zu identifizieren. Dies kann eine Grundlage für die Entwicklung gezielter Interventionen bilden.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.07.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Measuring posttraumatic growth and depreciation after spinal cord injury: A Rasch analysis.
Kunz Simon, Fellinghauer Carolina, Peter Claudio (2019), Measuring posttraumatic growth and depreciation after spinal cord injury: A Rasch analysis., in Rehabilitation Psychology, 64(4), 407-424.
Perceived posttraumatic growth and depreciation after spinal cord injury: Actual or illusory?
Kunz Simon, Joseph Stephen, Geyh Szilvia, Peter Claudio (2019), Perceived posttraumatic growth and depreciation after spinal cord injury: Actual or illusory?, in Health Psychology, 38(1), 53-62.
Coping and posttraumatic growth: A longitudinal comparison of two alternative views
Kunz Simon, Joseph Stephen, Geyh Szilvia, Peter Claudio (2018), Coping and posttraumatic growth: A longitudinal comparison of two alternative views, in Rehabilitation Psychology, 63(2), 240-249.
Posttraumatic growth and adjustment to spinal cord injury: Moderated by posttraumatic depreciation?
Kunz Simon, Joseph Stephen, Geyh Szilvia, Peter Claudio (2017), Posttraumatic growth and adjustment to spinal cord injury: Moderated by posttraumatic depreciation?, in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, (4), 434-444.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Stephen Joseph, University of Nottingham Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Study Center of the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort at Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF), Nottwil Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Werner, Depar Psychology, Psychological Methods, Evaluation and Statistics, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
31st Conference of the European Health Psychologists Society {EHPS) Poster Perceived posttraumatic growth after spinal cord injury: Actual or illusory? 29.08.2017 Padova, Italy Kunz Simon;
7th Meeting of the European Spinal Psychologists Association (ESPA) Talk given at a conference Relationship of Posttraumatic Growth and Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: Moderated by Posttraumatic Depreciation? 27.04.2017 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Kunz Simon;
55th Annual Meeting of the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) Poster Relationship of Posttraumatic Growth and Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: Moderated by Posttraumatic Depreciation? 14.09.2016 Wien, Austria Kunz Simon;
30th Conference of the European Health Psychologists Society (EHPS) Talk given at a conference Relationship of posttraumatic growth and adjustment to spinal cord injury: moderated by posttraurnatic depreciation? 23.08.2016 Aberdeen, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Kunz Simon;
8th European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP) Talk given at a conference Relationship of Posttraumatic Growth and Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: Moderated by Posttraumatlc Depreciation? 28.06.2016 Angers, France Kunz Simon;
Annual Meeting of the Swiss Positive Psychology Association (SWIPPA) Poster Beide Seiten der Medaille - Positive und negative psychologische Veränderungen nach einer Querschnittlähmung 27.11.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Kunz Simon;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
SwiSCI Interest Group Meeting Poster 04.11.2016 Nottwil, Switzerland Kunz Simon; Peter Claudio;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Das Leben ist immer lebenswert Schweizer Familie German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Paralysie - La vie mieux qu’avant? Le Matin Dimanche Western Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
165484 Resilience in the face of chronic disability: A longitudinal study after the onset of spinal cord injury 01.09.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an example of a potentially life threatening and profoundly life-changing event. SCI results in severe physical impairments and limitations in everyday activities and societal participation, and may also exert a negative impact on mental health and well-being.In spite of the serious physical, social and psychological consequences, several studies showed that persons with SCI may experience positive changes following the injury such as an increased perceived personal strength, or a higher appreciation for life. The term posttraumatic growth (PTG) is most frequently used to describe this phenomenon. PTG has not only been observed in persons with SCI, but in many persons who adjust to a traumatic life event. Although the term posttraumatic “growth” has a positive connotation, there is a debate about the role and adaptive significance of PTG in the adjustment process to traumatic life events. Some see PTG as a positive outcome per se, and thus an intervention target that, when fostered, contributes to better adjustment. Others argue that convincing evidence in the form of consistent associations with indicators of good adjustment is needed to support the claim of adaptive significance. The evidence, however, is not clear. Associations of PTG with adjustment indicators such as good mental and physical health or high well-being are weak and inconsistent. Hence, the need for a better understanding of PTG and its role and development in the adjustment process has been claimed. Therefore, the objective of this research project is to gain an in-depth understanding about positive (PTG) and negative (PTD) posttraumatic life changes that persons with SCI may perceive when they are discharged from first rehabilitation. More concretely, associations between PTG and PTD on one side and the adjustment indicators well-being, physical health, levels of depression and anxiety and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder on the other side will be thoroughly examined first. Second, the mechanism underlying the development of PTG and PTD will be investigated and potentially predicting variables of PTG and PTD will be identified. Finally, it will be tested whether accounts of PTG at rehabilitation discharge correspond to “real” changes measured during the rehabilitation process.This project is embedded in a multi-center longitudinal inceptive cohort study (SwiSCI) that includes persons who are newly diagnosed with SCI and admitted for first rehabilitation in all four specialized rehabilitation clinics in Switzerland. It will produce 3 international peer-reviewed publications. The project will deepen the understanding of PTG and PTD and their role in the adjustment process to SCI. It can further set the ground for targeted interventions and, thus, add to a comprehensive support of persons adjusting to SCI.
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