Addressing Existential Disruption in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: A New approach to Human Temporality in Inpatient Rehabilitation (Papadimitriou & Stone) 2011
This paper uses Heidegger’s notion of human temporality to illuminate the meaning of the temporal disruption that can occur after traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI). Though time is seen as important in rehabilitation practice, especially in occupational theory, it is often conceptualized in linear terms thus missing its existential structure. Our goal in this paper is to enhance researchers’ and rehabilitation clinicians’ ways of doing and thinking about rehabilitation by revealing and articulating the role of human temporality in recovery and re-habilitation in the case of TSCI. Data come from ethnographic observations and field notes from one rehabilitation facility, interviews with former and current patients of spinal units, and interviews with allied health staff who work with adults with TSCI. We discuss research and practice implications of this work for allied health staff in identifying ways of bringing this new approach to temporality into practice.