McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Patricia Gonzales

photos_gonzalez.jpg

Major and Classification

Occupational Therapy, Psychology

Faculty Mentors

  • Professor Florence Clark

Department

  • Occupational Therapy & Psychology

McNair Project

"Pressure Sore Management: Case Study of a Gang Member with Spinal Cord Injury"

Pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) are injuries to the skin that pose a consistent threat to the quality of life of persons with spinal cord injuries. Pressure sores are not only a threat to quality of life, but they are also potentially life-threatening. However because managing pressure sores is a dynamic process, it has not been fully examined. For the purpose of this paper, I focus on an understudied group prone to spinal cord injury, gang members. Using an interpretive qualitative approach, I analyzed interview transcripts to produce a case study of a single gang member from a low-income, urban background. My aim was to examine the factors that affected his pressure sore management. I examined the emergent key themes in the life of one individual - "Steve." My findings will then be used to propose possible pressure sore interventions as well as provide a basis for other possible areas of research.