Moving forward on the journey: Spirituality and family resilience after spinal cord injury.

Purpose/Objective: The aim of this exploratory study was to consider how spirituality (encompassing meaning, hope and purpose), may facilitate family resilience after spinal cord injury (SCI) over time. Research Method/Design: A qualitative, longitudinal study design was adopted. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 family dyads (consisting of the individual with SCI and a nominated family member) on 2 occasions, 6 months apart. A thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Participants reported drawing upon a range of different sources of spirituality, including religious faith, the natural world, inner strength, and meaningful connectedness with others. These sources of spirituality were often tested in some way after the SCI. Meaning-making responses to these tests were linked with 3 key outcomes: gratitude, hope, and deeper connectedness with others, assisting families to move forward in their journey after SCI. Over time sources of spirituality did not change significantly; however, the intensity of spiritual experience lessened for some families. Conclusions: This study indicated that spirituality after SCI plays an important role for both the injured individual and their family members. Families draw upon a range of sources of spirituality, and these sources of spirituality may assist the family to move forward together after SCI. Further investigation of how health professionals can better address spirituality during spinal rehabilitation is warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)