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Original Research Articles

Survey of Reproduction Needs and Services: Situation of Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries

Authors:

Zhang Jinming ,

Capital Medical University School of Rehabilitation Medicine, China Rehabilitation Research Centre, Beijing, CN
About Zhang

Author works as Associate Research Fellow in Social Medicine at Capital Medical University School of Rehabilitation Medicine. He has completed Master of Philosophy in International Community Health at University of Oslo in 2004; and has been involved in research in the areas of rehabilitation, social medicine, CBR, rights and policies concerning persons with disabilities.

 
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Zhang Yuge,

Graduate School of Capital Medical University Beijing, CN
About Zhang

Author has a Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy from Capital Medical University School of Rehabilitation Medicine and is a Master's candidate in Rehabilitation Medicine and Physical Therapy at the same university She was involved in translation of the English book "Special Seating: An Illustrated Guide (revised edition)".

 
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Liu Genlin,

Capital Medical University School of Rehabilitation Medicine, China Rehabilitation Research Centre, Beijing, CN
About Liu

Chief physician in Capital Medical University School of Rehabilitation Medicine, China Rehabilitation Research Center. Liu has participated in projects on persons with spinal cord injuries as part of his clinical practices and has published many papers.

 
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Gao Yuchen,

San Diego Continuing Education, California, US
About Gao

Student of SanDiego Continuing Education,CA, USA. The author has been associated with persons with spinal cord injuries and has assisted in research on persons with disabilities.

 
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Chen Suwen

Beijing Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital, Capital Medical University Beijing, CN
About Chen

Associate Professor at Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University. Chen has been involved in many projects related to reproductive health and has also authored academic papers. In recent years, she has focused on reproductive issues of persons with spinal cord injuries.

 
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Abstract

Purpose: This article explores the reproductive wants and needs of persons with spinal cord injuries (SCI), along with factors that influence these needs and the services available to them.

Method: The study sample comprised persons with SCI from China Rehabilitation Research Centre who matched the research criteria and consented to participate. Data collection took place through questionnaires and in-depth interviews. After the objectives, contents and methods of the survey were explained, 63 respondents answered the questionnaire, and 17 of them (15 men and 2 women) agreed to participate in the in-depth interviews. All the respondents were above 18 years of age, either unmarried or married, and childless.

Results: It was found that 85.7% of the respondents wished to have children. The more severe the SCI, the less was the desire for children. Those with higher levels of education were less inclined to have children. While financial situation had little impact on the wish for children, the impact of traditional concepts was significant. The reproductive experiences of other SCI clients had a significant influence on respondents’ desire to have children. More than 50% of the respondents were ignorant that they could have babies after SCI. 96.8% of them believed that a child played an important role in marital stability. Though 54% of the respondents wished to have their sexual and fertility problems addressed in medical and rehabilitation institutions, 93.7% said they had not received any such professional services during the previous year.

Conclusions: Although most persons with spinal cord injuries are very keen to have children, their wants and needs are not recognised and little attention is paid to specialized service provision to address their needs. This study suggests that steps such as improving awareness, disseminating knowledge and setting up institutions to provide professional services are necessary to address reproductive needs and to protect the reproductive rights of persons with SCI.

How to Cite: Jinming, Z., Yuge, Z., Genlin, L., Yuchen, G. and Suwen, C., 2014. Survey of Reproduction Needs and Services: Situation of Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 25(2), pp.21–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v25i2.296
Published on 17 Aug 2014.

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