Spinal cord injury (SCI) is devastating and costly in both human and social terms. People with SCI can experience diverse health problems and environmental barriers. The state of health care for SCI provides an indicator for the development of the health systems.
In high income countries, advancements in medical treatment, rehabilitation and community care have substantially improved survival rates, and enhanced quality of life for people with SCI. In most parts of the world, however, needed treatments, rehabilitation and support remain unavailable or underdeveloped. It is important to develop an adequate evidence base for SCI and related interventions. On 13-14 November 2008, Swiss Paraplegic Research in Nottwil, Switzerland hosted the first editorial committee meeting on ‘International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury’ (IPSCI), a joint WHO and International Spinal Cord Society project to provide a global overview of interventions, services, health systems and policies for people with SCI.
The presentation will both introduce the production processes and the content of IPSCI. The scope of IPSCI is the entire lived experience of SCI, from trauma and acute care through rehabilitation towards full participation in family and community life, education and employment. Chapters on causes and prevention of SCI, on assistive technology and the enabling environment, complete the world-wide picture of life with SCI. IPSCI is being developed in partnership with professional organizations and organizations of persons living with SCI from around the world. IPSCI will be invaluable to health professionals and policy makers, but most importantly, to people living with SCI around the globe.