NSIC Psychology Team wins £300k grant to contribute to international research into rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries

Date: 03/11/2023 | Category: News 2023

The Psychology Team at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, part of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, will collaborate on an international research project with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago and various international partners.  The research is funded by a $4.2 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research made to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The NSIC team will receive £300k over five years to contribute findings to the project from the UK.

The grant, which includes other US collaborators, and those in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway, will be used to examine rehabilitation outcomes and length of stay for people after discharge from spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation.

The NSIC provides spinal cord injury rehabilitation for about a 1/3rd of the adult population of England. There are about 7 people each day that develop a spinal cord injury in the UK, and services benchmark their care with others across the world through the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), based at the NSIC, Stoke Mandeville Hospital. This award has come about through the Psychology Team’s work agreeing a worldwide ISCoS Psychology Basic Data Set.

The investigations will include a survey and focus groups with former inpatients, family members/caregivers, and clinicians to examine the skills needed for successful community living and adaptation, and gain feedback about the extent that this occurred during someone’s hospital admission and how to enhance this further.  Length of admission and therapy received during rehabilitation varies greatly across the world, and a critical question is about how well inpatients are prepared for the transition home after a life changing and traumatic injury. The outcomes from this work will have a significant impact on future rehabilitation provided by the NSIC and enable the service to be more effective, as well as enhance people’s quality of life after spinal cord injury.

Dr Jane Duff, NSIC Head of Psychology, said: “I am delighted that we were invited to join in the grant application and work alongside such eminent researchers who are leading spinal cord injury development across the world.  Securing this grant provides a significant opportunity for the NSIC, the Trust and for the future of spinal cord injury rehabilitation.”

Find out more about the International Investigation of Length of Rehabilitation Stay After Spinal Cord Injury and Associated Outcomes here.