PP0314 - Week One


In case you missed it here is the week one email.

Task 1: Essentials for the course (0.5 hour)

If you haven't already please make sure that you have done the following things before starting on the tasks below:

  1. Sign up to the course Facebook group so that you can contribute to the discussion.
  2. Sign up to access the elearn-sci website.
  3. Complete pre-course self-assessment quiz.

Task 2: The Health Essentials (1.0 hour)

Throughout this course we will be working through the physiotherapy-specific lessons on the website elearnsci.org.  Please make sure that you are always logged in to this website so that the links below take you directly to the relevant lessons. Also make sure you are looking at the physiotherapy module (there are other modules which are not part of this course eg. modules for the whole team, doctors, nurses etc). 

Your first task is to complete online lesson, The Health Essentials.  Complete the 9 short activities included in this lesson which are linked to below:

  1. The Health Essentials - overview
  2. Autonomic dysreflexia
  3. ASIA basic introduction
  4. Postural hypotension
  5. DVT and PE
  6. Bladder management
  7. Bowel management
  8. Heterotopic ossification
  9. Self-assessment

The aim of this lesson is to provide the background information that is essential for managing a person with SCI. This lesson uses simple case scenarios to illustrate important impairments and health conditions associated with SCI. Detailed information about these topics can be found in the e-learn doctors and nursing modules.

At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • define the difference between a complete and incomplete SCI
  • describe common health conditions and impairments associated with SCI and their implications for physiotherapy
  • list the key ways people with SCI manage their bladder and bowels and implications for physiotherapy

Task 3: Principles of management (0.5 hour)

Next complete online lesson, Principles of management.  This lesson includes only 3 short activities which are linked to below.

  1. Principles of management - overview
  2. Living with SCI
  3. Self-assessment

The aim of this lesson is to provide a framework to help students and inexperienced physiotherapists formulate a physiotherapy program for people with SCI. Participants will learn a five-step process based on a problem-solving approach. The five steps are:

  • Step 1: assessing impairments, activities and participation
  • Step 2: setting goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound (SMART)
  • Step 3: identifying key impairments
  • Step 4: identifying and administering treatments
  • Step 5: measuring outcomes

At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • define the general principles of physiotherapy management
  • use ICF terminology to formulate a physiotherapy management plan
  • identify key impairments that are amenable to physiotherapy treatment

Task 4: Suggested reading (0.5 hour)

Read the following:

Task 5: Discussion (0.5 hour)

Go to the Facebook group for all online discussions.

There are 3 main discussion threads for this week. They are:

1. Tell us something about yourself.  You may have already done this as part of the pre-course activities but if you haven't please post a short summary which tells us where you live, whether you are a physiotherapy student or graduate, how much experience you have in SCI and what you hope to get our of this course.....and one trivial thing about your life if you want (eg. what you like, your favourite movie etc).

2. Tell us what you think is the most difficult part of classifying a person's spinal cord injury. So think about what you have learnt about the International Standards for Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) and tell us what you think might be difficult about applying this knowledge. Alternatively just tell us one observation, question or thing you have learnt. Or perhaps you have a tip to help others learn more about this area.

3. Tell us how physiotherapists can help eradicate pressure ulcers. So think about this problem across the world. It is probably the leading cause of misery and mortality, especially in low and middle income countries. Why is it such a problem? What can we as a professional group do to help eradicate the problem? What will you do differently in clinical practice now you know a bit more about the issue?

Feel free to start your own discussion thread as well. You can post any question or comment related to what you have learnt this week.

Optional: Physiopedia resource creation

This is an optional activity that will allow you to expand your knowledge in some of the topics this week.

Throughout this course we will be collaborating to create informational documents on some of the topics that we have covered. These informational documents should include the knowledge that we have learnt this week and expand on that knowledge with the inclusion of references and links to other resources in the style of a Physiopedia page (see example Physiopedia page). 

Once these documents are complete they will be added to Physiopedia and made available for all Physiopedia users to refer to and learn from. In essence you will be contributing to the knowledge of our profession by helping to build the spinal cord injuries section of Physiopedia.

We will be creating these documents in Google Docs which allow for collaborative editing.  Anyone can make a contribution at any time by simply following the links below and making appropriate edits.  Don't be shy, any contribution however large or small will contribute to the group creation of these resources.

Choose one (or more) of the following topics and contribute some information to the document on that topic:

  1. Introduction to SCI's
  2. Autonomic dysreflexia
  3. Bladder and bowel management
  4. Heterotopic ossification

Optional: Other Resources and Learning Activities

The following resources are optional for you to read/view but will further expand your knowledge on this week's topics:

  • Read some or all of the references provided at the end of each online lesson you have done this week. Click here or here to access.
  • Watch a video produced by ISCoS about the development of www.elearnSCI.org. Click here to access.
  • Do a FREE online training course on The International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI. It is called InSTEP and comprises 6 modules. It will probably take about 4 hours to complete. Click here for access
  • Quickly test your ability to classify patients' SCI using The International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI. This is probably only appropriate for those with a fairly good understanding of the assessment. If you are a beginner then I would not worry about this level of detail at this stage. Click here for access
  • View a powerpoint presentation developed by physiotherapists about pressure management. Click here to access.
  • Do an online training module about pressure ulcers. It is intended for patients but is very relevant for students new to SCI. Click here for access
  • Watch a video about disability in Nepal to increase you understanding of some of the problems of SCI in low income countries. Click here for access
  • Get an understanding of just how much information is available on the web by exploring some links that The International Network of SCI Physiotherapists have put together which are very relevant to physiotherapists. Click here for access.
  • Watch over 100 interviews of people with SCI to increase your understanding of what is important to them. Click here for access.
  • Learn more about bladder management following SCI. Click here for access.
  • Look at the website for The International Network of SCI Nurses. This contains a lot of links to educational resources related to nursing issues. Click here to access.
  • Gain an idea of the many, many different videos available on YouTube about SCI. Click here to access.
  • Learn more about how to read and interpret evidence. Click here for a good easy to read and FREE book. Or there are numberous websites. Try here or here or here.
  • Increase your understanding of some of the great and varied work SCI physiotherapists around the world are doing. This video is about a not-for-profit spinal unit in Peshawar, Pakistan. The unit is run by a physiotherapist. He is the person talking at the beginning. Click here.
  • Read a very important summary of important issues related to prevention, treatment and ongoing management of SCI from a global perspective. This was recently published by WHO. It is called - International perspective on SCI.
  • If you are from a low-income country - then learn more about how to cut your own simple cushion by clicking here. Alternatively, be aware that WHO and Motivation have some very good training packages on wheelchair prescription that includes the prescription of pressure-relief cushions. If you are from a high-income country then do a google search on cushions to get an idea of the large number of commercially-available cushions.

Management of Spinal Cord Injuries 

This is the course textbook which will be available to all participants of the course for FREE for the duration of the course.

Access the book here!

Alternatively you might be interested in keeping your own copy of the book.

Buy with 20% discount by clicking here!! (if you have trouble getting a delivery to your country please let us know and we can help)

Purchase E-book

Checklist for the week

1. Signed up to Facebook group

2. Signed up to www.elearnSCI.org

3. Completed pre-couse self-assessment quiz

4. Completed the following lessons within the physiotherapy-specific module on www.elearnSCI.org:

  • The health essentials
  • Principles of management

5. Read part of 2 chapters of the course textbook

6. Contributed to the Facebook discussion

7. Contributed to the physiopedia resource (optional)

8. Looked at additional resources (optional)