Study design: Parallel-group, quasi-experimental study. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a coping-oriented supportive programme (COSP) for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) over a 12-week follow-up. Setting: SCI wards in two rehabilitation hospitals of Shaanxi, China. Methods: Ninety-nine participants (mean age = 41, 88% males and 74% paraplegia) joined the COSP intervention (n = 50) or attention control (n = 49) group. The COSP intervention was focussed on the facilitation of coping skills and consisted of 8 weekly sessions, whereas the attentional control group was provided with 8 weekly didactic education sessions. Effects of the COSP intervention were determined by primary outcomes (coping and self-efficacy) and secondary outcomes (depression, anxiety, social support, life satisfaction and pain). Data were collected at pre- and post-intervention, as well as 4- and 12-week follow-up. Results: Intention to treat analysis indicated statistically significant effects (with moderate to large effect sizes, all P-values < 0.01) on participants’ maladaptive coping, adaptive coping, self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, satisfaction of social support and life satisfaction immediately post-COSP. Statistically significant effects were found for maladaptive coping, self-efficacy, anxiety, depression, satisfaction of social support and life satisfaction at 4-week follow-up. Maladaptive coping, anxiety, satisfaction of social support and life satisfaction were also significantly improved at 12-week follow-up. Conclusion: The COSP intervention resulted in medium-term psychosocial benefits for people with SCI and has potential for integration into routine inpatient rehabilitation practice.