August 11, 2017

Dr. Denise Tate's Globe-Spanning Grant Funds Spinal Cord Injury Research in Four Countries

A recently awarded research grant will fund a study to assess the quality-of-life (QoL) perceptions among spinal cord injury (SCI) patients across four continents.

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Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the project is being led by a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Denise G. Tate, PhD, and brings together an international team of SCI researchers from the United States, Brazil, Australia, and the Netherlands. Collecting standardized QoL information from SCI patients can guide future therapeutic approaches. It can also help individual patients set recovery goals and expectations, said Tate, who has led international collaborations in the field for years.

“Hospitals around the world assess these injuries differently. Doctors ask different questions. We think there is value in asking the same questions across the board, regardless of country or culture,” Tate said. “But if we’re all using these same questions, does this ruler actually measure the same thing for patients in the United States as it does in Europe, Australia or Brazil?”

The “ruler” in question is a previously agreed upon universal data set that Tate helped create a few years ago with support from the International Spinal Cord Society. The Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Basic Data Set (SCI-QoLBDS) consists of three questions designed to measure patient satisfaction with life overall, satisfaction with physical health, and satisfaction with mental health. The Neilsen grant will fund a study to conduct a cross-cultural validation of the SCI-QoLBDS tool.

Read more about the grant at the University of Michigan Medical School Global Reach website.