Friday, 31 July 2015

Grant win paves the way for SPHPM spinal cord injury research

SPHPM Research Fellow Dr Sandy Braaf has been awarded a $94,000 research grant to survey bladder management in the community for people affected by spinal cord injury. 

Awarded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) via the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR), the grant will assist research on the personal and economic costs associated with urological complications for people living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

This project contributes to a larger program of work with the Victorian Spinal Cord Service (VSCS), led by Director, Dr Andrew Nunn, and aims to provide valuable insight for a new model of bladder management care at the VSCS.

Spinal cord injury patients living in Victoria will be the focus of the survey which seeks to enhance current understanding of the health and societal impacts of urological complications.

“The findings will be hugely beneficial in identifying any unmet needs and potential improvements in the delivery and care of community services to spinal cord injury patients, as well as improving their independence, health and wellbeing,” Dr Braaf said.

In previous research, Dr Nunn and colleagues have identified a high incidence of hospital re-admission for spinal cord injury patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) – this is one of the leading causes of morbidity in spinal cord injury patients.

“Complications stemming from UTIs include infection and damage to the kidneys or bladder, sepsis and other urological problems which can adversely impact on spinal cord injury patient’s health and quality of life,” Dr Braaf said.

The grant will allow SPHPM researchers to explore the incidence of UTIs in those living with SCI, as well as survey their hospital presentations and admissions, experiences with carers and health care providers, current bladder management practices, and social participation and financial impacts.

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