SCI Health Maintenance Tool
Launch of a new tool supporting self-management in people with a spinal cord injury
World Spinal Cord Injury Day observed on 5 September each year provides an opportunity to raise awareness and highlight the challenges of living with a spinal cord injury. This year’s theme, “Access to SCI services; a life less complicated”, is important. Aligned with this year’s theme, the new freely available Spinal Cord Injury Health Maintenance Tool (healthmaintenancetool.com) has been launched today for individuals with SCI, carers and health care providers to support self-management, shared decision-making and early problem identification to remain healthy and live a fulfilling life.
The Spinal Cord Injury Health Maintenance Tool (SCI-HMT) was developed over five years by The University of Sydney, in partnership with Royal Rehab and the State SCI Service, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, with funding provided by icare NSW. The project employed a co-design approach involving genuine, multi-method consultation with meaningful engagement of a diverse stakeholder group and iterative loops and levels of collaborative decision-making. This process ensured the voices of individuals living with SCI, as well as their healthcare providers were incorporated into the design and development of a credible, relevant, and user-friendly SCI-HMT. The tool includes a website, app and booklet versions, comprising six priority health issues of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Bladder, Bowel, Skin, Pain and Autonomic Dysreflexia.
The SCI-HMT provides comprehensive information for age-appropriate education with easy-to-understand language along with evidence- and theory-based features, incorporating models for health behaviour change. Unique features include screening tools (quick health checker), symptom trackers/diaries, goal setting programs, collaborative care plans, toolboxes of self-management strategies (for bowel, mental health, pain and pressure injury), quick tips for prevention, and prompts (red flags) for when to seek further medical attention/advice at the right place and time.