Principal Investigator: Alexandra Terrill
Keywords: spinal cord injury , caregiver , couples , positive psychology , well-being , online intervention Department: Occupational Therapy
IRB Number: 00099063 Co Investigator: Justin Mackenzie
Specialty: Occupational Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Sub Specialties: Spinal Cord Injury
Recruitment Status: Not yet recruiting

Contact Information

Alexandra Terrill

Brief Summary

The objective of this proposal is to test the feasibility of a web-based positive psychology intervention program for adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their spousal caregivers to help manage mood and improve self-care for both partners in the couple (dyad). Our aims are to:
Aim 1. Tailor an existing dyadic positive psychology intervention (PPI) that has been developed and tested in stroke for use in adults with SCI and their caregiving partner using a web-based platform.
Aim 2. Examine feasibility of the PPI program in 10 couples coping with SCI, including recruitment, attrition, study procedures, and acceptability of the intervention as assessed by feedback survey.
H2a. Recruitment, attrition, and adherence to protocol are expected to be adequate as defined by previously established criteria.
H2b. We expect participants will be satisfied with the intervention and report some benefit after completing the intervention.
Aim 3. Examine the ability of selected measures to detect changes in psychosocial outcomes. While the primary outcome for the current study is feasibility, the ultimate goal of the intervention is to improve mood, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction. Thus, our exploratory aim 3 is to determine if selected measures are able to detect changes in these outcomes from pre- to post-intervention.
H3. The primary outcome measures selected to assess mood, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction will be able to detect changes in participants from pre- to post-intervention. Though it is not our intention to test for efficacy of the PPI, we expect these changes to be positive; i.e., enhanced mood and well-being. In addition, we will be able to use this information to preliminarily determine effect size for the future, full intervention trial.

Inclusion Criteria

(1) Couples must consist of one partner who had a spinal cord injury at least 6 months ago and a cohabiting spouse/partner who self-identifies as the caregiver and is willing to enroll in the study; (2) couples must have co-habitated for at least 1 year; (3) participants must be 18 years of age or older, be able to read and understand printed English instructions, and have computer and internet access. Should enrollment be difficult due to this last criterion, we will have 2 iPad tablets with internet and data capability available to loan to participant couples.

Exclusion Criteria

(1) The SCI occurred less than 6 months; (2) the caregiver has a SCI or other major neurological condition; (3) either partner is unable to read and understand printed English instructions; (4) either partner does not consent to participate in the study.