Patient Survey

Survey
To assess preference of individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI), carers and health care professionals in the management of patients with SCI:

– District General Hospitals vs Spinal Cord Injury Centres for medical conditions (MC) related and MC unrelated to the Spinal Cord Injury.

– W S El Masri FRCS Ed, Chairman BASCIS

– Paul Smith Chairman SIA

Methodology
Written questionnaire widely circulated to members of the SIA, British Association of SCI Specialists and Multidisciplinary Association of SCI Professionals.

Information collected by the Clinical Audit Department of the RJ&AH Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust.

Target Groups
Individuals with SCI.
Carers of individuals with SCI.
Health Care Professionals in SCI.

The survey took place between June and September 2003.
Information was gathered from patients regarding:
– Level and type of injury.
– Time since injury.
– Admissions to local hospitals.
– Preference for local vs SCI Centre management of conditions related and unrelated to SCI.
– Problems encountered at local hospital.
– Advantages of being treated in a SCI center.

Carers
Length of experience in SCI service.
Relationship to the patient.
Whether received ‘spinal cord’ training as ‘carer’ and where.
Problems encountered by patient at local hospital.
Problems encountered by carer at local hospital.

Health Professionals
Length of experience in SCI service.
Opinion on problems encountered in patients not treated in SCI center.
Opinion on advantages of dedicated SCI center.

Conclusions

  • The great majority of individuals with spinal cord injuries prefer to be managed in SCI Centres for medical conditions related to their paralysis.
  • A significant majority of individuals with spinal cord injuries prefer to be managed in SCI Centres for medical conditions unrelated to their paralysis.
  • 10% -15% of individuals with SCI prefer to be managed in a District General Hospital (DGH) for medical conditions related to their SCI, however the longer the interval from injury the more preference they had for the SCI Centres.
  • About 30% prefer the DGH for conditions unrelated to their SCI . The preference for DGHs however seems to drop in favour of SCI Centres in those injured more than 15 years.
  • The preference and the reasons given by the majority of individuals with SCI for treatment in SCI Centres seem to coincide with those of their carers and health care professionals.

With thanks to Carol Dale and Tina McPherson from the Clinical Audit Dept at the RJ&AH Orthopaedic Hospital and to Mr J Chowdry for his help with the graphics.