Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Report of Recommendations from the State of the Science Meeting on Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Research at the White House

In November 2011, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) sponsored a meeting at the White House to report on the recommendations from the State of the Science meeting on Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Research held in June 2011. Participants of the meeting discussed a broad range of biopsychosocial issues in SCI rehabilitation along with research recommendations including: a) Neurologic and Functional Recovery; b) Assistive Technology for Mobility and Function; c) Aging and Secondary Conditions; and d) Psychosocial, Vocational and Quality of Life Outcomes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2011 Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures published by NSCISC

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) publishes Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance every year to summarize trends in SCI Model Systems demographics and injury statistics. Data come from the National SCI Database, which was started in 1973 and currently contains longitudinal information on over 27,000 people with traumatic spinal cord injuries. Notable trends from the 2011 report are that the average age at injury and average life expectancy after injury have been increasing, while average length of rehab hospital stay has continued to decline over the years. 

To view the 2011 Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance, visit: https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/public_content/pdf/Facts%202011%20Feb%20Final.pdf

Monday, September 12, 2011

How to Live with Spinal Cord Injury and Osteoporosis

A free webcast and live chat presented by the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center.
Monday, September 26, 2011
6:30-8:00 PM Eastern Time
6:15 PM Check-in
Many individuals with SCI have a change in their bone mass in the first year following SCI, and that risk increases over time. Research has shown that management of bone health should begin early following SCI because individuals with SCI are at a higher risk for fractures due to this decline in bone density.  Andrei Krassioukov MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia and Co-Director and Scientist with ICORD, will discuss the physiology and architecture of bone and the changes that take place in bone mass following SCI. He will also present the common methods for evaluation of osteoporosis following SCI and discuss the difficulties individuals with SCI face in managing osteoporosis.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Developing neuroprosthetic treatments for spinal cord injury – New video from the Northwest Regional SCI System

The Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle has posted a video of the presentation “Developing neuroprosthetic treatments for spinal cord injury” by Chet Moritz, PhD, assistant professor in the UW Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics. Dr. Moritz conducts research in brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetic technology. The goal of his research is to develop systems that can bypass damaged areas of the spinal cord and restore voluntary control of movement to paralyzed muscles. In this presentation, Dr. Moritz summarizes the state of the art in this field and describes his study using brain activity to control Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to stimulate the muscles of a paralyzed wrist. He also discusses his work using  intraspinal stimulation to generate movements of the hand and arm. Watch the video here: http://sci.washington.edu/info/forums/reports/research_moritz.asp.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SCI Model Systems researchers receive ACRM Awards

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Awards Committee announced the following awardees for 2011:

Edward Lowman Award
Gale Whiteneck, PhD, FACRM - The Rocky Mountain Regional Spinal Injury System
This award was established in 1989 in honor of Edward Lowman, MD who recognized the importance of multidisciplinary teams in rehabilitation. Dr. Whiteneck is recognized as someone whose career reflects an energetic promotion of the spirit of interdisciplinary rehabilitation.

Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award in Rehabilitation Research
Deborah Backus, PhD - Southeastern Regional SCI Model System
ACRM established this award to honor Deborah L. Wilkerson, a beloved member, former President (2003), and ACRM Fellow (2005). Deborah had many interests but was particularly devoted to improving the quality of rehabilitation and independent living services for people who needed them. She had a commitment to person-centered services and was an advocate for individuals with disabilities. Dr. Backus has been selected as the 2011 awardee and will present a paper during the ACRM-ASNR Joint Education Conference. Dr. Backus is recognized as someone who is within 10 years of completion of training and has made significant contributions to rehabilitation research in their early career.

These awards will be presented Friday evening, October 14th at the Henry B. Betts Awards Gala during the ACRM-ASNR Educational Conference in Atlanta.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Setting the stage for experimental SCI treatments

How do we know if a new treatment really improves recovery? In the world of SCI recovery research, one of the challenges of conducting clinical trials is being able to tell whether any improvement in function was caused by the experimental treatment, or if the patient would have improved anyway, since most people with SCI have some natural recovery in the first year after injury.

The researchers looked at the changes in motor function that naturally occurred during the first year after injury in 1,436 individuals with tetraplegia (quadriplegia). They found that people with initially complete injuries converted to incomplete injuries at a somewhat higher rate (30%) than was previously thought, including 7.1% converting to ASIA Impairment Scale grade D. They identified neurological measures that would be appropriate outcome measures for future clinical trials. (Marino RJ, Burns S, Graves DE, et al. Upper- and lower-extremity motor recovery after traumatic cervical spinal cord injury: an update from the national spinal cord injury database. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Mar;92(3):369-75.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

SCI Model Systems Research: Patients get little help for depression after spinal cord injury.

Depression is a harmful and sometimes deadly condition that affects about one in five people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Researchers at four sites in the SCI Model System (Seattle, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Birmingham, AL) found that only 29% of depressed patients were taking antidepressants and 11% had received counseling within the past three months. Far fewer had received an adequate dose of either antidepressants or counseling. The authors identified several factors that may contribute to under-treatment of depression, including poor access to medical care, embarrassment about admitting to or talking about being depressed, and limited depression screening. The study highlights the need to understand and overcome barriers to the identification and treatment of depression in this population. (Fann JR, Bombardier CH, Richards JS, et al. Depression After Spinal Cord Injury: Comorbidities, Mental Health Service Use, and Adequacy of Treatment. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011;92(3):352-360.)

New Consumer Information on Employment after Spinal Cord Injury

A new evidence-based consumer factsheet on Employment after Spinal Cord Injury is now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website at http://msktc.washington.edu/sci/factsheets/employment.asp. This document was developed by Kurt Johnson, PhD and Jim Krause, PhD in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. It has been reviewed by SCI consumers and endorsed by the SCI Model System directors. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Consumer Information on Spasticity and Spinal Cord Injury

A new evidence-based consumer factsheet on Spasticity and Spinal Cord Injury is now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website at http://msktc.washington.edu/sci/factsheets/spasticity.asp. This document was developed by Rina Reyes, MD and Anthony Chiodo, MD in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center and has been reviewed by SCI consumers and endorsed by the SCI Model System directors. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

SCI Consumer Information on Safe Transfer Technique

A new factsheet on Safe Transfer Technique for people with spinal cord injury is now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website at http://msktc.washington.edu/sci/factsheets/transfers.asp. This factsheet was developed by Michael L. Boninger, MD, in collaboration with the MSKTC. It is based on research evidence whenever available and represents the consensus of expert opinion of the SCI Model System directors. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Webcast: The Skin You’re In: An Overview of Maintaining Skin Integrity for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
6:30-8:00 PM Eastern Time
6:15 PM Check-in

Presented by the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center.

Register at: http://development.bmc.org/nerscicwebcast 

Lauren Harney, RN, BSN, CWON
Boston Medical Center

About the Webcast:
Good skin integrity is paramount in maintaining your health and quality of life.  Individuals with spinal cord injury face unique and challenging issues in maintaining skin integrity that require comprehensive intervention on a daily basis.  This webcast will present issues from basic skin care, such as hygiene and choosing the right clothing, to the stressors that can contribute to poor skin integrity, such as poor nutrition, pressure distribution, and psychological factors.  This webcast will also address the costs to prevent and treat pressure ulcers as well as the complications that may arise from a pressure ulcer.

Lauren Harney, RN, BSN, CWON, currently works at Boston Medical Center as a wound/ostomy nurse.  She has held Board Certification as a wound/ostomy nurse for 12 years and has extensive experience in skin care for acute and chronically ill individuals.  She has worked in various settings ranging from urban community care to Level 1 trauma hospitals.  Ms. Harney helps to establish guidelines and wound care formularies in various health care settings, and serves as a consultant advising physicians and rehabilitation staff in developing best practices for wound/ostomy care.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Information for spinal cord injury consumers on getting the right wheelchair.

The SCI Model Systems recently posted three new evidence-based factsheets: Getting the Right Wheelchair: What the SCI Consumer Needs to Know; The Manual Wheelchair; and The Power Wheelchair. These factsheets are written for people with SCI, caregivers, and family member who want to learn more about how to get the best wheelchair to fit your needs. You can access PDFs and web-based versions of the Wheelchair Series here: http://msktc.washington.edu/sci/factsheets/wheelchairs/ 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spanish versions of SCI consumer factsheets on Skin Care and Pressure Sores

The MSKTC Consumer Information Factsheets on Skin Care and Pressure Sores are now available in Spanish at:
MSKTC Consumer Factsheets are based on research evidence and/or professional consensus and have been reviewed and approved by an editorial team of experts from the SCI Model Systems.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Toward a Model System of Post-rehabilitative Health Care for Individuals with SCI

The report of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on SCI Model System Innovation (2010): Toward a Model System of Post-rehabilitative Health Care for Individuals with SCI—Extending the SCI Model Systems Concept to Health Care in the Community is available at:  http://msktc.washington.edu/sci/sci_sigs/SCIModelSystemInnovationReport.pdf
In this report, 15 leaders from the Spinal Cord Injury model centers around the nation tackle one of the major unaddressed issues in SCI care: meeting the ongoing health care needs of individuals with SCI once they leave the protective cover of the rehabilitation center. The report brings together more than 25 years of literature and countless years of collective experience of professionals on the front lines of SCI care. The four recommendations set forth by the authors will be of interest to researchers, clinicians, policy-makers and consumers and are especially timely now as we enter a potentially transformative period in American health care.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free Webcast: The Affordable Care Act and People with Disabilities

A free webcast and live chat for individuals living with spinal cord injury, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals, presented by the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center as part of the Stepping Forward- Staying Informed Consumer Education Program.

Monday, March 14, 2011
6:30-8:00 PM Eastern Time; 6:15 check-in

Presenter Patrick M. Tigue from Community Catalyst will provide attendees with a review of the basic structure of the national health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about policy implications of several provisions of the ACA that are particularly relevant to people with disabilities. Finally, attendees will learn about how the current political landscape will likely affect implementation of the ACA’s provisions going forward.

To register for the webcast, go to http://development.bmc.org/nerscicwebcast 
New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center website: http://www.bmc.org/spinalcordinjurycenter.htm

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 12 Webcast RESCHEDULED

The Stepping Forward Staying Informed Evening Lecture Series scheduled for this Wednesday January 12th has been rescheduled due to the forecasted snow storm in the northeast.

“The Affordable Care Act and People with Disabilities: Policy and Politics” lecture will be held on Monday, March 14, 2011.  

(Please note, the March lecture will be held on a Monday instead of a Wednesday.)  We’ll be in touch as the rescheduled lecture approaches.  We hope you can join us in March.

Thanks, and stay safe!

New England Regional SCI Center
at Boston Medical Center
tel: 617-638-7314