The psychosocial approach to rehabilitation of the spinal cord injured patient

Paraplegia. 1988 Dec;26(6):419-24. doi: 10.1038/sc.1988.65.


The development of a liaison psychiatry service to the Austin Hospital Spinal Injuries Unit highlighted the need for a psychosocial approach to patients rehabilitation. Increasingly we recognised that psychological factors influenced the course of the patient's acute illness and rehabilitation; this led to the formation of a psychosocial group under the leadership of the liaison psychiatrist. Membership of this group includes the liaison psychiatrist, psychiatry registrar, clinical psychologist, social workers, visiting nurse, chaplains and the rehabilitation registrar. The psychosocial approach advocates the consideration of psychosocial management in all aspects of patient care. In this paper we describe the structure and function of the psychosocial team in the management of patients in the Spinal Injuries Unit at the Austin Hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Family
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Care Team
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*