Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate


Brain Health

First Committee Member

Donnamarie Krause

Second Committee Member

Jefferson Kinney

Number of Pages



According to Borsh et al. (2019), a spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to a tight bundle of cells and nerves, the spinal cord, that send and receive signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body. A direct injury can cause damage to the spinal cord itself or to the tissues and bones that surround it, which can cause temporary or permanent changes in sensation, movement, strength, and body functions below the injury site (Borsh et al., 2019). Unfortunately, the extent of the disability depends on the severity and location of the SCI; an injury higher on the spinal cord can cause paralysis in most of the body and affect all limbs. A SCI can also lead to the loss of bowel control, causing discomfort, pain, or waste-related accidents. Neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD) is the loss of bowel control after an injury to the nervous system (Borsh et al., 2019). In those with a SCI, it occurs because signals from the brain cannot pass through the spinal cord and, consequently, cannot reach the bowel muscles. Therefore, a neurogenic bowel training program (NBTP) must be implemented from day one of the acute care stages to help individuals with SCIs learn how to control their bowel movements better and improve their quality of life. This doctoral project explores the in-service education of interdisciplinary team members in the trauma intensive care unit (TSICU) on NBTP strategies used in the acute care phase. The NBTP competencies within the TSICU are to distribute and implement research-based best practices to improve the SCI patient’s quality of life. Interdisciplinary feedback has helped me explore and understand areas I need to focus on to improve my in-service presentations. This project aims to address the current gap in NBTP being implemented in patients with SCIs through an analysis of the literature and by educating interdisciplinary practitioners.

Controlled Subject

Occupational therapy; Spinal cord--Wounds and injuries--Treatment


Occupational Therapy

File Format


File Size

2080 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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