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Evaluation of Super-Link System Theory for Spinal Cord Injury Patients Using Participatory Action Research in a Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Hsiao-Yu Chen BSc MSc PhD RN,

  • Tzu-Jung Wu MS RN,

  • Mei-Li Cheng MA RN,

  • Hsi-Hui Sung BSc RN



The purpose of this study was to integrate and evaluate the spinal cord injury rehabilitation nursing theory named Super-Link System Theory using participatory action research.


Data were collected from October 2007 to September 2008 in a rehabilitation hospital by means of interviews, participant observations, documentary resources, case conferences and reports, and participants’ self-reflective inquiries. The Super-Link System Theory was introduced to 31 rehabilitation nurses. The nurses selected a key reference group including the researcher to facilitate the participatory action research process to implement and evaluate the theory. Data were analyzed using content analysis.


The findings shows that several key concepts were clarified and specific nursing interventions were identified. Furthermore, an integrated link system from the hospital to the community through both rehabilitation nurses and discharge planners was established.


The study demonstrated an evidence base for an evolving theory of care, and empowered nurses to make sustainable changes to their practice.