SCIRehab project series: The social work/case management taxonomy

Nicola Abeyta, Erma S. Freeman, Donna Primack, Flora M. Hammond, Charlotte Dragon, Ashley Harmon, Julie Gassaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Context: Social work and case management (SW/CM) are integral components of acute inpatient spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation. However, evidence is sparse regarding the impact of SW/CM interventions on outcomes. To advance research on SW/CM clinical practice in SCI rehabilitation, SW/CM providers and researchers first must have standard classifications for SW/CM interventions. Background/Objective: To develop a taxonomy (classification) of the various interventions and services that comprise SW/CM. Methods: A group of SW/CM clinicians compiled a list of activities performed as routine practice at the participating rehabilitation facilities. These activities were grouped and defined systematically. Results: The resulting taxonomy includes 8 major activity topics (financial planning, discharge planning, discharge services, supportive counseling, information about and referral to peer/advocacy groups, education about SCI and other relevant topics, information about and referral to community/in-house services, and team conferences), which were further stratified into specific content areas. Interactions with the patient, family, or other team members and resources, along with descriptions of the interactions that are applicable to each of the 8 activity topics, were included as well. Conclusion: An intervention taxonomy is required to study the SW/CM interventions and the potential association with positive rehabilitation outcomes for patients with SCI. The SW/CM taxonomy developed for the SCIRehab project, which will be used with 1,500 patients admitted to 6 SCIRehab centers over 2.5 years, will provide an infrastructure for such research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-342
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Disability
  • Paraplegia
  • Rehabilitation, physical
  • Social work, case management
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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