Sunday, 9 August 2015

Grant win for Gabbe and SPHPM spinal cord research

The Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) has awarded SPHPM Professor Belinda Gabbe a $372,000 grant to evaluate a new model of bladder management care at the Victorian Spinal Cord Service (VSCS).

Professor Gabbe is an injury epidemiologist and Head of the Pre-Hospital, Emergency and Trauma Research Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM) at Monash University.

Her three year research project represents the third stage of a larger program of work underway at the VSCS led by Director Andrew Nunn.

Professor Gabbe’s project will follow on from the research that is underway by Dr Sandra Braaf on the personal and economic costs associated with urological complications for people living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

The findings of this study will provide a comprehensive assessment of patient and staff perceptions of the new model of care to be piloted at the VSCS.

A recent study of Victorians living with spinal cord injury (SCI) found that 35 per cent of SCI patients were readmitted to hospital less than two years post-injury for SCI related conditions.

In 26 per cent of cases readmission was due to urological complications, most commonly urinary tract infections (UTIs).

In Victoria the total cost of readmissions for UTIs in the two year period post-injury exceeded $2 million.

A new model of bladder management care hopes to reduce the burden of urological complications through a coordinated, best practice approach to management from an early stage following injury.

Gabbe says that for the first time in Victoria, the scope of this project will allow comparisons of outcomes and benchmarking from pre- to post- implementation of a new model of care.

“This evaluation provides a unique opportunity to document whether it is possible to implement evidence based management/care at the VSCS and if a change in practice impacts positively on the lives of people living with SCI and reduces costly admissions for urological complications,” Gabbe said.

Evaluating the new model of care at the Victorian Spinal Cord Service (VSCS) will be Director Andrew Nunn, Professor Belinda Gabbe, Dr David Berlowitz from the Institute for Breathing and Sleep and Dr Sandra Braaf.

“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 and in improving their independence, health and wellbeing,” Braff said.

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