Our research activities aim at understanding, examining and developing approaches in order to achieve the best possible level of physical and mental functioning and health, participation as well as social integration and equal opportunities for people with spinal cord injury throughout their life, i.e. after the accident happened but also years later, when people are aging with spinal cord injury. Functioning mirrors the ‘lived experience’ of the individual whose activities and life involvement are affected by a health condition.
The ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) makes it possible to describe the difficulties that individuals may face in all aspects of their life. In that regard, SPF wants to provide data and facts as a basis for a more detailed analysis as well as to create a basis for developing measures and improvements on all levels with the help of the research findings. From specific research results, it is the goal to derive the needs and requirements in order to improve treatment methods, to give detailed information on technical devices, e.g. on improvements of wheelchairs, and to give useful advices for living together with people with spinal cord injury or to define the basis for necessary amendments to the law.
In addition, before the research projects are completed, SPF immediately puts the obtained results into practical use in order to achieve specific improvements for people with spinal cord injury. Our approach therefore is “Get Research into Practice” (GRIP) and is supposed to shape and guide the thinking of our researchers right from the start.