carnegieXchange: School of Sport

Enabling physiotherapists to promote physical activity to people with spinal cord injury - an international collaboration

This semester I was successful in obtaining a research fellowship at Leeds Beckett University to lead a project aiming to enhance physical activity (PA) promotion by physiotherapists to people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

The research team

This study is being conducted in partnership with Loughborough University, University of Birmingham, University of British Columbia (UBC) and Queen’s University, Canada. In addition, an expert panel of key stakeholders (e.g., people with SCI, healthcare professionals and relevant organisations such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy [CSP], Multidisciplinary Association for Spinal Cord Injury Professionals [MASCIP] and Public Health England [PHE]) have been advising on the research process. The aim of the project is to 1) develop resources to help facilitate PA promotion and 2) disseminate the new SCI exercise guidelines.

Following this research collaboration, this April I was fortunate enough to visit Prof Martin Ginis at UBC Okanagan. The purpose of the trip was to see how they were working to disseminate the new SCI exercise guidelines in Canada, and bring this good practice back to the UK. Currently, the new SCI exercise guidelines are ‘scientific’ in that they are based on research evidence and phrased in academic language. However, for the guidelines to be of use to different end users (including people with SCI, healthcare professionals etc.), we need to consider the language and presentation of this information. This visit was an excellent opportunity for me to observe an expert panel meeting and witness the co-creation of a draft resource to disseminate the guidelines. We will be holding a similar meeting at Loughborough University in September with our expert panel. Watch this space!

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