MSCIS Current and Ongoing Research Studies

(Listed alphabetically)

Craig Hospital Reinventing Yourself after SCI Project:  People living with SCI face issues such as decreased self-efficacy, anxiety, depression, and rehospitalization due to secondary conditions. The aim of this multi-site study is to determine the effectiveness of a newly developed intervention from Craig Hospital (Colorado) for people living with SCI. The goals of this intervention are to increase SCI-specific and general self-efficacy skills, enhance emotional well-being, and improve participation in society for people with SCI. Over the course of 46 weeks, participants will engage in intervention learning modules and follow-up assessments. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Developing a Patient-Centered Measure of Caregiver Relationships:  This study is developing a new measure of the quality of the relationship that people with SCI have with their caregivers. The new measure should be useful to people with SCI, as well as to both clinicians and agencies that hire caregivers. The study team has reviewed existing measures that evaluate related topics and conducted focus group with people with SCI who have caregivers. Separate groups were held with caregivers. We are now developing a group of potential items to include in the new measure. We hope to start conducting interviews with a draft version of the new measure sometime in the fall. (Funded by Craig H. Neilsen Foundation/439970)

Neurogenic Bowel and Bladder Management After SCI: People with SCI are often impacted by issues concerning neurogenic bladder and bowel management. Research about neurogenic bladder and bowel decision making is limited, and the contexts in which people with SCI make and carry out these decisions is also little understood. The results of this study will advance understanding of the complex circumstances under which these decisions are made. Participants in the study will be interviewed and may be part of a focus group. Funded by the Department of Defense. Award #W81XWH-17-1-0494.

Patient Profile Data: The development of new, informed therapeutic protocols has been aided by research involving peoplewith spinal cord injury (SCI) and spinal cord disease (SCD) undergoing inpatient rehabilitation. This study is designed to learn more about the experiences of people who have SCI and SCD while they are inpatients. The results of this research will increase knowledge about the health and wellbeing of people with these diagnoses, and improve understanding of how people with SCI and SCD differ. Information about participant conditions and the causes of their SCI or SCD will be obtained from medical records, and participants will complete an interview. Funded by Michigan Medicine.

Phenomenology of Chronic Pain After SCI: Pain shapes everyday experience, transforms the body, and must be “reckoned with” in ways that can deeply impact people. This study focuses on how people with SCI experience chronic pain, including how they cope with or adapt to pain, and the outcomes of living and adjusting to chronic pain in daily life. Through the use of open-ended interviews, structured surveys and optional direct observation, participants will share their story of living with SCI-related chronic pain in order to understand how people with SCI respond and cope in real time. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

Randomized Clinical Trial of Gentamicin to Decrease Urinary Tract Infection after SCI (GENIIOUS):  Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a common problem for people with SCI, and can greatly affect quality of life and community participation. This trial aims to reduce UTIs in people with spinal cord injury by using an overnight bladder instillation with gentamicin (a type of antibiotic). The results from this study may help inform future treatment strategies for patients with recurrent UTI after SCI. Over the course of one year participants will perform overnight bladder instillations, visit the University of Michigan clinic three times, and participate in short bi-weekly telephone calls. Participants will be compensated for their time and effort. Funded by The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. Award #90IFRE0002.

SCI Model Systems Follow-Up Data Center

MSCIS has a longstanding history of conducting spinal cord injury with the SCI Model System. MSCIS is currently a follow-up data center and follows patients throughout their lifetime after a traumatic SCI. This information contributes to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), which is the largest SCI database in the world. The goal is to improve long-term health outcomes. Participants in the follow-up data center answer interview questions every 5 years about their health and well-being. Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Award #90DP0083-02-00.

 Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with Healthy Aging after SCI: Successful aging with SCI involves a number of interrelated factors that can promote community participation and management of health and secondary conditions. While prior studies have evaluated aging in SCI, none has focused on the role of the social and physical environment. This study looks at how the social and built environment interact with the impairments and activity limitations of people with SCI to either hinder or promote successful aging. Data will be collected from a variety of sources including surveys, focus groups and environmental data (using Google Street View and Photovoice). Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Award #542445.

Validation of the International QOL Dataset: Quality of life is an important issue for people with SCI. This multi-site international study is evaluating a new survey measure of quality of life for people with spinal cord injury or spinal cord disease. Results of this study will determine if there are cultural or language differences influencing how people understand the survey questions and rate their quality of life. In addition, study results will determine how useful the survey measure is for clinical care and future research. Participants will be interviewed about their physical and emotional well-being, health status and activities. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

 The Wireless Motility Capsule for Neurogenic Bowel in Spinal Cord Injury: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a problem for many people with SCI. This research study is using a device called the Wireless Motility Capsule, or “SmartPill” to study the entire GI tract. The results from the study will potentially provide new information about the GI system after a SCI, and lead to new bowel treatments. Participants in the study will swallow the SmartPill and record information about their bowel movements. Those who take part will be compensated for their time and effort. Link to the UM Health Research Posting: