Guidelines and Resource Development

ONF has funded several resources which inform best healthcare practices for people with SCI. These include websites and guidelines for treating a variety of secondary health complications, rehabilitation and community living.

ONF funded online resources

SCIRE - comprehensive website focusing on rehabilitation and community reintegration

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence (SCIRE) is a comprehensive website with a set of topics relevant to SCI rehabilitation and community reintegration. SCIRE reviews, evaluates, and translates existing research knowledge into a clear and concise format to inform health professionals and other stakeholders of best rehabilitation practices following SCI.

The SCIRE project is a Canadian research collaboration between scientists, clinicians and consumers in Vancouver, British Columbia and London, Ontario, as well as their respective health centres. For more information, visit the SCIRE website.  

Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Mobilization Network (SCI KMN)

ONF has partnered with the Rick Hansen Institute and the Alberta Paraplegic Foundation to resource six rehabilitation centres across three provinces and establish the Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Mobilization Network (SCI KMN). The SCI KMN is a Community of Practice that works collaboratively to promote the implementation and sustained utilization of best practices in SCI care to improve outcomes in secondary complications, such as pressure ulcers, pain management, and bladder management, using an evidence-informed implementation methodology. For more information about this project, click here.

E-learning Resource

Currently there are many individuals with SCI who do not have a family physician and some who do have one but are not satisfied with the services they receive. On the other hand, many family physicians either have never seen an SCI patient or have few in their routine practice. This poses challenges for the physicians.

The Caring for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury is an e-learning resource, designed by ONF and the University of Ottawa, specifically for family physicians who are presently caring for, or are considering providing care for, persons with SCI in their practice. To learn more about this project, click here.

To access the e-learning resource, go to Caring for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury.

ONF funded best practice guidelines

Canadian Best Practice Guidelines for Pressure Ulcers

Pressure sores are the most common secondary complication of SCI. ONF, in partnerships with the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), has supported research to create standardized, evidence-based practices for the treatment of pressure sores.

Working with consumers, wound care and SCI experts, this partnership was able to develop the Canadian Clinical Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers, which were released in 2011. These guidelines are now current and applicable within the Canadian healthcare context.

To view these guidelines, please see SCI Pressure Ulcers Best Practice Guidelines (PDF 25.7 MB).

ONF is now supporting RHI in taking the lead for implementing these best practices in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and ultimately across Canada.

Pain Best Practice Guideline development (currently in development)

Pain is a common secondary health condition for people with SCI. Almost 40 percent of individuals with SCI have chronic and/or neuropathic pain. As there are currently no guidelines specifically for management of pain, and recognizing the critical need for it, the team from Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario, have taken the lead to develop the guidelines. These best practice guidelines will assist in standardization of care and appropriate management of pain for individuals with SCI. Pain management is important to improve psychosocial, as well as physical health and overall quality of life for people with SCI.

Physical Activity Guidelines and Guide

ONF supported the development of physical activity guidelines for individuals with SCI by a team of researchers at McMaster University.

These guidelines recommend the ideal amount of exercise individuals with SCI should do to live active, healthy and independent lives. They suggest that to improve fitness, healthy adults with SCI should participate in at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity twice per week, as well as strength training exercises twice per week.

Along with the guidelines, there is a SCI GET FIT toolkit which is a Canadian resource to help adults with spinal cord injury meet physical activity guidelines. They have also developed a two-page guide to support individuals in setting up and maintaining their physical activity program. The group has made guidelines and other related resources available on their website SCI Action Canada.