The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine has recently published the third phase of the SCIRehab Project, which is being led by Dr. Gale Whiteneck from the Craig Hospital, and was funded by National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the United States Department of Education.
The aim of this project was to determine what in-patient rehabilitation treatment interventions are most strongly associated with positive outcomes in people with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). They accomplished this through practice-based evidence (PBE) methodology, which is an observational approach that documented the details of the treatment process, and then related the natural variation in treatment to variation in outcomes.
The first phase of the SCIREHAB project developed the rehabiliation treatment taxonomy to describe the intervetion activities of seven disciplines (physical therapy, occupational therapy, therepeutic recreaction, speech language pathology, psychology, nursing and social work/case management).
G Whiteneck, M Dijkers, J Gassaway and DP Lammertse. The SCIRehab Project: classification and quantification of spinal cord injury rehabilitation treatments. Preface. J Spinal Cord Med 2009; 32(3):249–50.
The second phase of the SCIREHAB project described the nature of the rehabilitation process and determined which patient and injury characteristics expalined variation in the amount of treatment provided.
G Whiteneck and J Gassaway. SCIRehab: a test of practice-based evidence methodology. J Spinal Cord Med 2011; 34(2):129–30.
The third phase answers the question of which interventions are most strongly associated with positive outcomes, after controlling for patient and injury differences. Some of the outcomes examined include function and residence at discharge and 1 year post-injury, rehospitalization and medical complication in the first year, and societal participation and life satisfaction at 1 year post-injury.
G Whiteneck, J Gassaway, M Dijkers, A Heinemann and SED Kreider. Relationship of patient characteristics and rehabilitation services to outcome following spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2012; 35(6):484–502.
The PAR-QoL team would like to congratulate Dr. Whiteneck and his team on an outstanding body of work that answers a number of important questions regarding the impact of in-patient rehabilitation!