Acute spinal cord injury leaves patients severely impaired and generates high levels of psychological distress among them and their families, which can cause a less active role in rehabilitation, worse functional recovery, and less perceived satisfaction with the results. Additionally, rehabilitation professionals who deal with this psychological distress could ultimately experience higher stress and more risk of burnout. This article presents the study protocol of the ESPELMA project, aimed to train rehabilitation professionals in the clinical management of acute spinal cord injury-associated psychological distress, and to measure the impact of this training on the patients' perceived satisfaction with treatment.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01889940.
Keywords: acute illness; chronic illness; clinical health psychology; health care; patient satisfaction; psychological distress.
© The Author(s) 2013.