Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some frequently asked questions about the SCIRE Project. If there is a question that is not here that you would like addressed, please send us a note through the Contact Us form.

What is the SCIRE Project?

Initiated in 2006, The Spinal Cord Injury Research Evidence (SCIRE) Project is an international collaboration between scientists, clinicians, and consumers headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and London, Ontario, Canada. SCIRE Professional and our partner site, SCIRE Community, which went online in 2017, are the two websites through which we fulfill our mandate.

We search the published literature and compile public health-relevant reviews, eliminating your need to search and screen individual databases.

SCIRE Professional covers a comprehensive set of topics relevant to SCI rehabilitation and community reintegration. Briefly, SCIRE Professional reviews, evaluates, and translates existing research knowledge into a clear and concise format to inform health professionals and other stakeholders of best rehabilitation practices following SCI. This research synthesis enables relevant decision-making in public policy and practice settings applicable to SCI rehabilitation. In addition, transparent evidence-based reviews can guide the research community and funding organizations to strategically focus their time and resources on the gaps in knowledge and identify research priorities. The full rationale for our process can be viewed in Review Process and Methodology.

For clinicians, researchers, and educators across the globe, whose practice would significantly benefit from obtaining the most up to date information on treatment and care of SCI, SCIRE Professional is considered the world standard. In providing the most comprehensive and current evidence-based research, you can get the latest data and outcome measures for SCI rehabilitation in one place.

How do I use this site?

What are Chapters or Evidence Modules?

After systematic review, we organize in-depth information into modules by clinical area (e.g., Autonomic DysfunctionsPain ManagementBone Health). You can use the left side navigation to see which page you would like to read, or you can download the Executive Summary or the entire Evidence Module with all of the tables (check the Related Downloads box on the right side of the page).

What are Outcome Measures?

Outcome Measures (OMs) are useful for monitoring your client’s progress in rehabilitation. The SCIRE Team has reviewed 120+ OMs validated specifically for use with the SCI population (e.g., Spinal Cord Independence Measure6 Minute Walk TestCommunity Integration Questionnaire). We provide a 2 page Clinical Summary with a brief description of the OM, how long it will take to administer, any equipment needed, and the most important statistical properties, to help you decide which OM to use. We also provide a Reference list and a full Research Summary of all studies extracted.

If there is a Worksheet available that you need to use for the OM, you can download it here for free (on the right side of the page). Where possible, we have purchased licensing for proprietary measures so that you may use them free of charge.

What are your videos about?

Our original videos are demonstrations of the most commonly used outcome measures in SCI rehabilitation, like the 10 Meter Walking Test and the Braden Pressure Ulcer Scale. We find that some situations and personal stories in SCI are much better communicated by video, so some of our newer videos interview clinicians and people with SCI. Examples include: Sexual Health After Spinal Cord Injury, Spasticity as a Red Flag, and Breastfeeding After SCI: Complications.

View a selection of educational and instructional videos in the Videos section or on SCIRE’s YouTube channel.

What are Toolkits, Info Sheets, and Treatment Algorithms?

The SCIRE Team has created and vetted a number of resources to assist you in your treatment of people with SCI (and put them all into one place for convenient and free download).

  • Toolkits typically refer to a larger document with all of the consolidated information you need for one particular area and we have many available for free (e.g., the Toolkit for Respiratory Assessment).
  • Information sheets tend to be 1-2 pagers or infographics that have brief clinical information (e.g., COVID-19 and SCI: Infographic).
  • Treatment Algorithms are pathways documents (i.e., they have directions or arrows) that can assist in standardizing the selection of a clinical course of action (e.g., does your patient have X? if yes – do Y, if no – do Z). They can be helpful in making quicker decisions and reducing the possibility of errors.

See the Toolkits, Information Sheets, and Treatment Algorithms page to see all that is currently available (and return often – we are adding more to this page all the time!)

I am a person with SCI…are you guys doctors? Can you help me with my treatment?

The short answer is no. Information and documents from SCIRE Professional and SCIRE Community (print or web site are provided for informational and educational purposes only. This is not medical advice. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, you should consult a qualified health care provider for further information or specific medical advice. The SCIRE Project (Professional and Community) editors, contributors and supporting partners shall not be liable for any damages, claims, liabilities, costs or obligations arising from the use or misuse of this material.

People with SCI typically need to learn much about how their body works now, and having the most up to date information can be very helpful. We recommend reviewing the materials here and on SCIRE Community (the same evidence-based information but in simplified language).

There are physiatrists (medical doctors that specialize in rehabilitation) involved with SCIRE and the creation of all of our materials. Click SCIRE Team for more information on who we are.