In a health care system constrained by limited resources for patient care and education, alternative means of disseminating necessary information are needed. Achieving compliance with preventive strategies through education is a major goal in the prevention of secondary conditions following spinal cord injury (SCI). Patients in a rehabilitation setting are only likely to retain information that is provided at a time when they feel ready and when relevance is recognized. This article describes challenges to patient and family learning from the perspective of the individual with SCI (client) and the health care provider. In addition to challenges of readiness and relevance faced by the client, there are also challenges faced by rehabilitation providers in accounting for the diverse nature of the clients they serve and the pressures of the system in which they work. A commonly identified barrier to information delivery is the difficulty of matching provider availability with the time the client is receptive. Individuals with SCI living in the community rank specialist health care professionals as the most desirable source of information ahead of general practitioners, peers, and various mass media information sources.

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