Participation programmes in the community environment

The ultimate goal of rehabilitation is to ensure that patients with sequelae derived from a neurological lesion recover their functional autonomy as much as possible, alongside their ability to decide and self-manage their chosen lifestyle in an active, inclusive and participatory way.

Key to achieving this objective is intensive neurorehabilitation in a specialised centre such as the Institut Guttmann that is started as soon as possible after the onset of a neurological injury. But it is also true that this period of time is not always enough for the person, and also their family, to be able to experience the many situations that they will find when they return to their usual environment, nor to gain the necessary confidence in their abilities to continue living their lifestyle.

This is why the Institut Guttmann carries out programmes in the authentic environment for people who want to improve their autonomy and self-determination, while exploring more satisfactory and active new paths for community participation alongside peers or mentors on their own or with their friends and family.

Active Life (1st & 2nd sessions)

In April 2022, the 1st Active Life programme began, focusing on empowerment, community training and initiation to independent living; in this case, it was aimed at people with a spinal cord injury.

For two weeks, a group of 5 patients accompanied by professionals and peers (mentors) lived in the Guttmann Barcelona Life apartments and were able to enjoy an extensive programme made up of daily living activities, sports practice, training sessions, accessibility workshops, use of public transport, leisure, etc. A second session was held in November, with the same characteristics and with 6 participants with spinal cord injury.

To objectively evaluate the results achieved during the programme, personal interviews and a series of assessment scales were conducted to analyse the changes experienced by the participants over the course of the fifteen days and the impact on their daily lives. The variations to the results of the scales before and after the programme are summarised below:

– Degree of participation: improvement of 13.61%
– Independence in daily living activities: improvement of 24.35%
– Chair handling: improvement of 35.94%
– Significant activities: improvement of 13.33%

The scales are conducted again after 6 months to observe changes that have occurred, and qualitative information is collected by interviewing each of them.
In addition, we also studied the degree of satisfaction of the participants with a scale from 1 to 5:

– Stay in the Guttmann Barcelona Life adapted apartments: 4.6/5
– Sporting activities: 4.3/5
– Workshops and training sessions: 4/5
– Organisation: 4.6/5
– Team: 4.9/5

Youth Ability Camp (3rd camp)

In June, 11 young people with functional diversity, all patients and former patients of the hospital’s child rehabilitation service, had the opportunity to spend a few days away from home and work on therapeutic aspects as well as get involved in new activities and socialise with people who have had similar experiences to their own. It was a very beneficial and fun experience that represents a step forward in their autonomy and participation in the community.

Camp Spinal H2O  (4th camp)

Organised with the collaboration of Norway’s Sunnaas Foundation, the camp was able to be held in 2022 for the fourth time after two years without running due to the pandemic. A total of 21 people with spinal cord injury took part, 6 of whom were former patients of the Institut Guttmann.

Accompanied by 9 peers(mentors) and other professionals who are happy to pass on their experience, advice and practical training to the participants to help them gain wheelchair-handling skills, as well as autonomy and safety, they enjoy social, cultural and sporting (mainly aquatic) activities.

The Camp Spinal H20 initiative is part of the Fundació Institut Guttmann’s Social Commitment, and continues to show the importance of sharing knowledge and ways of working with other centres and the good results gained from this.

Sports&Life Guttmann Club

In 2022 we have continued the activities of the Sports&Life Guttmann Club, aimed at former patients of the Institut Guttmann and other people with functional diversity accompanied by their family and/or friends. The first activity of the year was our traditional ski trip in La Molina, followed by an inclusive regatta in the Port of Mataró, a jet ski outing to the Forum Barcelona, Poblenou’s Milla del Drac, a kayak excursion in Llançà and a day of adapted aviation at the Igualada-Òdena aerodrome.

This year, a total of 42 people plus their companions took part in the activities organised.