Journal:Disability and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):16, 38, 6, 573-581
Study explored women’s experiences of living with spinal cord injury (SCI) and neurogenic bladder and bowel (NBB), a chronic condition hindering the functioning and quality of life of people with SCI. Secondary analysis of semi-structured interviews from a larger qualitative study of 50 women with SCI was conducted. Transcripts were coded for bowel and bladder content. Pile-sorting techniques were used to identify emergent themes related to NBB. Meta-themes were categorized under the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Bladder and bowel topics were spontaneously discussed by 46 of the 50 study participants, suggesting the importance of this issue for women with SCI. Six meta-themes were identified: life controlled by bladder and bowel, bladder and bowel accidents, women’s specific challenges, life course disruption, bladder and bowel medical management, and finding independence. The results describe concerns, strategies, and the detrimental impact of NBB in the lives of women with SCI. Findings may assist healthcare and rehabilitation professionals and policy makers to improve accessibility and quality of life for women with NBB.