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INTERnational project for the evaluation of "activE rehabilitation" (inter-PEER): A protocol for a prospective cohort study of community peer-based training programmes for people with spinal cord injury
journal contributionposted on 28.04.2021, 00:50 by Anestis Divanoglou, Tomasz Tasiemski, Sophie Jörgensen
Background: Active Rehabilitation (AR) is a community peer-based concept for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) that is primarily delivered through brief residential training programmes. Despite a plethora of positive anecdotal evidence of AR programmes as life-changing experiences, the effects of AR-programmes have not been evaluated scientifically. Here, we present the protocol of the INTERnational Project for the Evaluation of "activE Rehabilitation" (inter-PEER) aiming to evaluate the effects of AR training programmes on community-dwelling individuals with SCI. Methods: International prospective cohort study that recruits consecutive participants in AR training programmes. Evaluation is conducted through a web-based survey at 3 time-points: at the commencement and completion of the training programme, and 3 months after the end of the training programme. Evaluation also includes a practical wheelchair skills test at the first two time-points. The primary outcome measures are the Spinal Cord Independence Measure Self-report (SCIM-SR), the Queensland Evaluation of Wheelchair Skills test (QEWS), the Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire (WST-Q) and the Moorong Self-Efficacy Scale (MSES). The secondary outcome measures are the 11-item Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LiSat-11), the Utrecht Scale for Evaluation of Rehabilitation-Participation (USER-Participation), the Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire for people with SCI (LTPAQ-SCI) and the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10). We piloted the implementation of the protocol in Sweden in 7 participants with diverse SCI and sociodemographic characteristics and collected feedback from participants and peer-mentors about study procedures through interviews, a workshop and field observations. Discussion: Inter-PEER is the first initiative to propose a systematic evaluation of the effects of AR training programmes among individuals with SCI. The project is a collaborative work of multiple stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, peer mentors with SCI, and administrators of organisations providing AR programmes. The inter-PEER uses standardised outcome measures relevant to the AR context, it will facilitate quality evaluations of community peer-based programmes, stimulate international collaborations, and inform the design of randomised controlled trials on the effects of AR training programmes.