Applying Health Mechanics to Enhance Bowel and Bladder Health for Persons with SCI
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This study will evaluate the efficacy of a newly developed self-management program, Health Mechanics, to develop and improve bowel and bladder management skills among persons with new SCI. Health Mechanics was designed by the study PI, Dr. Michelle Meade, between 2007 and 2009 with funding from the PVA Educational Foundation to assist persons with SCI to develop and transfer necessary skills to keep their bodies healthy while managing the many aspects of SCI care. This randomized control trial will investigate the effectiveness of a telehealth version of Health Mechanics to enhance self-management skills related to neurogenic bladder and bowel management in an attempt to prevent associated complications and improve quality of life.
Individuals with new SCI will be recruited from among UMHS inpatients with new SCI and asked to participate. All participants will be assessed either during or immediately after their inpatient stay and 3, 6, 12 and 24 months later. After initial assessments, participants will be randomized to either the experimental intervention or usual care group. Those in the experimental intervention will work a Health Coach over 6 to 8 telephone sessions to review self-management skills and their application to that participant’s bowel and bladder management issues.