Late Breaking Research Poster 1841570| Volume 103, ISSUE 3, e42, March 2022

The Effect of the Empower SCI Program on Improving Occupational Performance for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

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      Research Objectives

      To investigate if there would be increased autonomy and participation in meaningful occupations and positive perception of the program after attending Empower SCI and to investigate whether participation and autonomy improved in individual's daily lives after attending Empower SCI 2-week summer program.


      A retrospective cohort designed to evaluate participants’ experiences from the 2019 (in-person) or 2020 (virtual) Empower SCI program.


      Community Based Setting on a University Campus both in-person and virtually (due to COVID-19 restrictions).


      Summer 2019/2020- Participants recruited using convenience sampling from the 2019 cohort attended in person.
      2020 cohort attended virtually. A total of 9 participants, 8 from the 2019 cohort 1 from 2020 cohort.


      The EmpowerSCI is a 2-week summer program of a 2nd chance at rehabilitation. Includes therapies, sports, education and socialization. The Impact on Participation and Autonomy (IPA) Survey was administered and completed via REDcap. Participants were asked to complete survey with the mindset they had “before attending Empower SCI. During December 2020, the IPA was Administered by phone. Participants were asked to complete survey with the mindset they had “after attending Empower SCI” and were asked the face valid qualitative questions developed by the research team over the phone. Researchers imputed data on REDcap.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Impact on Participation and Autonomy (IPA) Survey that is made up of 10 sub-scales- aimed at looking at one's independence and ability to complete everyday activities. Some examples include "Mobility and Getting Around", "Self-Care", "Leisure", "Work", "Education" and "Social Relationships".
      Qualitative Questions


      Mobility (Mean): 13.1→ 11.1 (p=0.044)
      Leisure (Mean): 4.8→ 4.3 (p=0.029)
      Concluding (Mean): 3.2→ 2.6 (p=0.048)
      Data showed improvement in each subsection (a decrease in IPA scores shows important).


      Empower SCI led to significant improvements of participation and autonomy in:
      Mobility, and Leisure on the IPA. Improvements (although not significant) in: Getting around, self-care, work, helping others, managing money, and social participation. Qualitative data showed a positive impact of Empower SCI such as Increased confidence and comfort, more positive mindset, sense of community.

      Author(s) Disclosures



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