Breakthroughs to change lives
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia supports research that can benefit our community.
Our primary partners supporting Australian research into spinal cord injury are:
Below is an overview of SCIA’s current research activities including information about what it will mean in practice and how you can get involved.
SCIA and the University of Sydney
3-year Scholarship – ongoing
Aim: To understand the levels of physical activity of people living with an SCI in Australia and to identify barriers to exercise participation to encourage people with SCI adopt a more physically active lifestyle.
How our community can benefit: This project can help to advocate with funders and policymakers the importance of having accessible exercise services in the community. It can also optimise NeuroMoves Gym services with more targeted and diverse programs.
SCIA and NeuRA
Aim: To identify how clinicians and people with SCI use Functional Electric Stimulation (FES). It aims to explore the barriers to use and the impact of FES on function and quality of life perceived by individuals with SCI.
How our community can benefit: FES is one of the NeuroMoves services and its ongoing research can ensure treatment continues to be effective for our clients. It can also support consumers and clinicians at large to optimise the use of FES.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS), SCIA and PDCN
1-year study – ongoing
Aim: A research project by the School of Built Environment, Faculty of Design Architecture and Building to test widely implemented Australian Standards on the design of public and private toilets/ bathrooms by investigating how wheelchairs-users use these standardised accessible bathroom elements, including what works well and what doesn’t , and what design-features they would like to modify, how and why.
How our community can benefit: Use of public toilets is critical to increase access for the SCIA community and updated standards will benefit all.
Other Current SCI / Neuro Research
Opportunities to get involved in research
Universally Designed Automated People Mover
The Queensland University of Technology is conducting research that aims to address a gap in Autonomous Vehicle technology to enable better transport outcomes for people with a disability.
To develop design principles that would lead to “a Universal Design Automated Vehicle people mover “accessible to everyone.
Who is eligible: People with disabilities over the age of 18
What will the project involve: Participation will involve completing a 50 item questionnaire with multiply choice questions and several short response questions.
Total time commitment for joining: approximately 15 minutes
To view more information, click here
Mental health and exercise self-efficacy following spinal cord injury: a cross-sectional survey
Flinders University is seeking participants to help investigate the relationship between mental health and the confidence/capability of people with a spinal cord injury to exercise, through an online survey. The aim of the study is to gain better insight into potential barriers limiting people with spinal cord injuries from engaging in physical activity.
Who is eligible: anyone with a spinal cord injury.
What will the project involve: completion of an online survey, there is no follow-up required.
Total time commitment for joining: approximately 20 minutes
To view more information, click here
Sexual self-expression following an SCI
The University of the Sunshine Coast is seeking adults aged 18 years and over currently living in Australia and with a Spinal Cord Injury, whether it be complete or incomplete, to take part in research studying their sexual support needs.
Who is eligible : Adults aged 18 years and over currently living in Australia and with a Spinal Cord Injury.
What will the project involve : a short demographic questionnaire followed by an interview regarding their sexual support experiences. On completion, you will have the chance to enter a draw to win one of two gift hampers valued at up to $85. All responses will remain anonymous and confidential.
Total time commitment for joining : Up to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Robotic devices for arm/hand rehabilitation
Researchers from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) are investigating the feasibility of training for arm and hand function using robotics devices after an SCI. Participants are assessed and required to provide their opinions after attending 10 sessions of robotic training for the arm and hand.
The research aims to explore the opinions of people with reduced arm/hand function after an injury to the spinal cord about the utilization of a robotic devices in arm/hand rehabilitation.
How you can get involved:
Who is eligible : Adults who have had a spinal cord injury that affected his/her ability to move his/her hand and arm and that was more than 6 months ago. To view the flyer, click here
What will the project involve : Attend assessment and treatment sessions at UTS Moore park Campus.
Total time commitment for joining : Approx. 20 hours: 3.5 hours for 3 assessment sessions and 15 hours for 10 treatment sessions (1.5 hours per session) using the robotic devices.
Gender Inequity and the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Researchers at UNSW are conducting a study about how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is affecting outcomes for women with disability. The study will look at how women with various disabilities experience the NDIS and hopes to help protect against incidental gendered discrimination within the NDIS.
Who is eligible : Women with disability, including mental ill health, over the age of 18 years old and have applied, or have considered applying, for the NDIS.
What will the project involve : One interview. The participant can choose whether they participate in the interview via telephone, video call or in person. To thank the individuals for participating they will be provided with a $50 Mastercard Gift Card.
Total time commitment for joining : Between 60-90 minutes. The participant can choose to take breaks, which may lengthen the interview time to 120 minutes.
Growing Assistive Technology Solutions in Queensland
Researchers from The Hopkins Centre are currently inviting people who use AT in Queensland to participate in a survey and potential interview to discuss their experiences of AT provision, individual needs, and possible solutions.
Who is eligible : people in Queensland who use any type of Assistive Technology.
What will the project involve : a short survey with the possibility of an interview. People who are invited to participate in the interview will be reimbursed $50 for their time.
Total time commitment for joining : Survey approx. 20-30 min and interview approx. 45-60min.
Contact person and contact details : Read the AT Flyer here for more detail. Or contact Dr. Christy Hogan, The Hopkins Centre, Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience | Menzies Health Institute Queensland on T: +61 3735 8136, or email here.
SCI use Functional Electric Stimulation (FES)
NeuRA are studying the impact of FES on function and quality of life as perceived by individuals with SCI.
Who is eligible : Anyone who has had a spinal cord injury for at least 1 year and anyone who has worked as a researcher, clinician, or carer (including family members) in the field of spinal cord injury.
What will the project involve : Completion of an online survey
Total time commitment for joining : Survey approx. 20-30 min