PEARL Multidisciplinary Journal

Spinal Cord Injury and Employment: Lived Experiences of Individuals with Paraplegia


Spinal cord injury that damages the spinal cord causes loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in the body parts of a person with paraplegia. The injury affects their life physically, mentally, socially and economically. As time progresses, they should make adjustments for survival. A steady income and employment which provides self-identity are of utmost importance in this situation. But acquiring a job and maintaining it, is very difficult now, as there is competition in every field. This study explores the experiences in employment of persons with paraplegia. The study tries to explore the influencing factors that helped the individuals to continue their employment, their perceived advantages of working after becoming paraplegic and major challenges of work. The study adopted a qualitative framework. Five case studies are conducted. The findings of the study reveal that apart from financial independence, employment helps spinal cord injured persons to gain confidence, self-esteem and create a good identity for them. This improves their quality of life and increases social interactions. The study suggests that it is high time to improve the vocational rehabilitation facilities for spinal cord injury in the state and to consider their participation with improved societal and environmental development.



Spinal Cord Injury, Employment for Spinal Cord Injured Persons, Paraplegia.

Author Affiliations

Amritha V S1*, Francina P X2 

1 Kerala State AIDS control Society, IPP Building, Redcross Road, Thiruvananthapuram, 695035

2 Dept. of Social Work, Loyola College of Social Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, 695017


15 February, 2022