Psychology, Stirling and Napier Universities

Psychology, Stirling and Napier Universities

Dr Adele Dickson (Napier University) and Professor Ronan O’Carroll (University of Stirling) have been collaborating on ESRC funded research projects with the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in recent years. The focus of this research has been on the psychological impact of living with a spinal cord injury. The research projects have centred on what it means to live with a spinal cord injury from the perspective of both the injured person and the partner caregiver.

Perceived changes to quality of life, the impact on sense of identity and self-esteem, disruptions to daily life, challenges of the injury and adjusting to, and coping with, spinal cord injury lie at the heart of this research. We have also studied effects of spinal cord injury on emotional processing and experience. Depression and suicidality in spinal cord injured patients will be explored in future projects. Raising awareness of the psychological impact of spinal cord injury is vital in order to tailor healthcare and post-discharge support to the individuals needs. In doing so, we hope to improve the quality of life of both injured individuals and their partner caregivers.