Research Corner

Research Corner

Be a part of the breakthroughs that change lives

SCIA supported research that benefits our community

Our primary partners supporting Australian research into spinal cord injury are:

  • Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
  • SpinalCure Australia
  • If you would like SCIA’s Clinical Governance and Research Committee (CGRC) to provide your research support through promotion, support, partnership and funding please fill out our Research Proposal Form or Research Support or Promotion Request Form.

    Research, Opportunities and Governance

    If you would like to discuss anything on this page in more detail please contact Jess Hansson, Secretary of Clinical Governance and Research Committee, at jhansson@scia.org.au or call (03) 7003 5105.

    Current Research
    About our Research Governance
    Information for Researchers

    Research and SCIA

    SCIA has ongoing research partnerships with the following organisations to advance research to build a better community for people with disabilities.

    University of Sydney
    Status: Three year scholarship – Ongoing

    Aim: To understand the levels of physical activity of people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) in Australia and to identify barriers to exercise participation to encourage people with SCI adopt a more physically active lifestyle.

    How does our community 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.

    Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
    Status: Ongoing

    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 does our community 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) and Physical Disability Council of New South Wales (PDCN)
    Status: 1-year study – ongoing

    Aim: A research project by UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building is testing the current Australian Building Standards on the design of public and private toilets and bathrooms for manual and power wheelchair user. This study investigates the 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 does our community benefit?: Proper accessibility to accessible public toilets is critical for the SCI community, those who use other mobility aids and have mobility issues. An update to the standards will benefit all.

    OTHER SCI AND NEURO RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

    Robotic Devices for Arm and Hand Rehabilitation

    University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers 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 utilisation of a robotic devices in arm/hand rehabilitation.

    Eligibility: Adults who have had a spinal cord injury that affected their ability to move their hand and arm for a minimum of six months.

    Location and Time Commitment: Attend assessment and treatment sessions at UTS Moore park Campus.
    3.5 hours for 3 assessment sessions and 15 hours for 10 treatment sessions (1.5 hours per session) using the robotic devices (Approximately 20 hours total)

    I’m interested! Where do I go for information?
    Esminio Rivera at 0407584635 or email esminioii.rivera@uts.edu.au
    Camila Quel De Oliveira Camila.QuelDeOliveira@uts.edu.au

    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

    Eligibility: Anyone who has had a spinal cord injury for at least one year, or anyone who has worked as a researcher, clinician, or carer (including family members) in the field of spinal cord injury.

    Involvement and Time Commitment: Survey work that will take between 20 – 30 minutes.

    I’m interested! Where do I go for information? Annie Palermo at a.palermo@neura.edu.au

    Clinical Governance and Research Committee

    Research and Clinical Governance at SCIA is supported by the Clinical Governance and Research Committee (CGRC), a subcommittee of the SCIA Board of Directors.

    The CGRC members are experts and people with lived experience that voluntarily provide advice on research and clinical matters. Meetings are quarterly. Current members include:

    Professor Glen M Davis OAM (SCIA Board Member and Committee Co-Chair): Professor of Clinical Exercise Sciences in the Sydney School of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, with clinical and research experience in exercise therapy and rehabilitation for people with neurological conditions, particularly spinal cord injury.

    Leesa Addison (SCIA Board Member and Committee Co-Chair): A passionate change advocate currently working as a business and digital transformation consultant after 25 years working in technology and innovation as a CIO and senior executive. A lived experience advocate for systemic improvement of our health and community services sectors serving as a Non-Executive Director in disability and mental health.

    Dianne Lucas (SCIA CEO): Experience as both the Deputy CEO and Acting CEO at St Vincent De Paul Society NSW, where she led several disability services. Dianne has also managed several organisational functions including organisational performance and development, information and communications technology, governance, fundraising and communications as well as human resources.

    Judith Cross AM (Lived Experience Representative): 22 years’ experience as a CEO working in health and community services with a particular interest in governance.

    Professor Mary Galea AM FAHMS (Research Representative): Professorial Fellow, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne. A physiotherapist and neuroscientist, with clinical research experience in the rehabilitation of neurological conditions including stroke, MS and SCI.

    Dr Jackie Reznik (Clinical Representative): Extensive national and international expertise as a clinical neurological physiotherapist (SCI, Brain Injuries and other chronic/genetic neurological conditions) in adults and children. Also a researcher in the area of SCI and traumatic/non-traumatic brain injuries.

    Gillian Garrett (Clinical Representative): Registered Nurse with 15 years experience in the field of inpatient SCI rehabilitation and clinical leadership.

    Dr Camila Quel De Oliveria (SCIA Internal Research Adviser): Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Technology Sydney. Postgraduate clinical qualifications in Neurological Physiotherapy applied to the chronic and acute patient (adult and paediatric) populations. Is an allied health researcher in neurological populations, with special interest in SCI, Camila is a SCIA representative member of the committee.

    Research Framework and Research Plan

    Research at SCIA is underpinned by our Research Framework and guided by our Bi-annual Research Plan.

    Please take some time to read the following documents to see if you project aligns:

  • Research Framwork (PDF)
  • Bi-Annual Research Plan (PDF)
  • If you would like SCIA’s Clinical Governance and Research Committee (CGRC) to provide your research support through promotion, support, partnership and funding please fill out our Research Proposal Form or Research Support or Promotion Request Form

    If you have any further questions please contact Jess Hansson, Secretary of Clinical Governance and Research Committee, at jhansson@scia.org.au