14 September 2016
We´re in place for the ISCoS meeting 2016 in a warm and pleasant Vienna. As usual we are playing an important role to promote the consumer perspective. Once again we are chairing the Consumer workshop and we are presenting a poster about the Successful Integration Project. And of course we are an active partner in the workshop to promote the consumer perspective. We are really pleased to see that a large part of the congress actually focuses on the consumer perspective.
We will try to give you daily reports on some of the topics from the congress here on the ESCIF website. If you want to read more about the ISCoS Meeting 2016 you can also go to www.iscosmeetings.org.
The first day was full of different topics and unfortunately we can only visit some of them since there are numerous parallel sessions. Today was also the day when ESCIFs´ poster concerning the Successful Integration Project was displayed.
There are many posters displayed at the ISCoS meeting and we are pleased that so many people showed interest in discussing our findings with us.
The first workshop that we took part in today was chaired by Lucy Robinson, a peer support coordinator at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in UK. The workshop did, of course, focus on the importance and benefits of peer support.
The panel consisted of speaker, Will Clark, baring testimony of the shift of Quality of Life (QoL) the peer support brought to his life and the importance of including high level injuries (C1-4) in the program. We also listened to Philipp Nieke on the same topic as he presented at the ESCIF Congress in Vienna in May about the importance of Information Management to facilitate the newly injured person to build their own “puzzle” to get back into an active life after the injury. Finally, Julie Gassaway from the Shepard Center in USA presented a study about the benefit of peer support. As she mentioned, we all know that peer support is important, but who´s going to pay for it. If there is actual proof that peer support brings value to the SCI population in terms of higher QoL, less support from the health care system that would improve the possibilities of getting funding to peer support. The study showed the difference between a control group, that received no active peer support, and the intervention group that did. The result showed numerous of benefits that is cost effective.
The second workshop that we attended today focused on International Collaboration on Clinical Trials. Two very interesting speakers talked about of the consumer initiative, presented by Kim Andersson, an associate professor at the University of Miami, and an example of setting up a collaboration in Asia, presented by Dr. Chhabra from New Delhi. After that we split into different discussions groups to discuss what actions to take to push the agenda forward to move small scale pilot clinical research into larger multicentre studies which is essential due to the small SCI population in different countries. All the discussion groups emphasised the role of consumer organisations to facilitate this process.
After lunch we listened to one of the keynote speakers, Elisabeth Bradbury, from King’s College in London, about repairing the injured spinal cord. The presentation focused on three important topics for recovery; enhancing endogenous repair, using Chondroitinase to restore function and regulate gene therapy.
The last session that we attended once again focused on the role of peer support. RG Active Rehabilitation presented different aspect on Active Rehabilitation - 40 years of community peer-based programs for persons with Spinal Cord Injury in 19 countries: Key Elements, Opportunities and Challenges.
All the presented could very well fit into the findings of ESCIF concerning peer support which plays an important part of the ESCIF policy. Between the sessions we did of course use the time to mingle with colleagues and health professionals.