The toolkit is a guide to help people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) understand and troubleshoot problems they may experience throughout their SCI journey. It guides SCI-specific health maintenance in the following five areas: bladder, bowel, skin, pain and autonomic dysreflexia.
It has been developed by people with SCI, General Practitioners (GPs) and expert clinicians to provide consistent evidence-based information to support proactive management of the health needs of people with SCI.
The need for this resource was in response to the lack of consumer-friendly tools that provide consistent evidence-based information for people living with SCI to self-manage their complex health needs.
It is easy to navigate and helps people understand common and potential issues, what’s normal and what to look out for, lists recommended routine investigations, explains when to seek assistance and provides self-management tips.
In addition, it will also guide primary health care professionals and non-specialist clinicians in the management of SCI and can be used to form essential health plans.
The toolkit aims to empower people to maintain their health and wellbeing. It is a valuable resource for individuals with SCI to find sound advice, take preventative measures and resolves health issues related to their injury that may arise.
"SCI is associated with many challenges following injury. It is therefore important for people with SCI to self-manage their health-related needs and become the experts of their own care. People with SCI have complex health needs, not only following their SCI, but throughout their life."
"Ultimately, we hope the Health Maintenance Tool empowers people with SCI to expertly and proactively manage their health needs leading to improved quality of life and health outcomes. I recommend this tool to those living with SCI and those who care and support them, their clinicians and their GPs," said Suzanne Lulham, General Manager, Care, Innovation and Excellence, icare.