Please enable JavaScript or talk to your local administrator to get JavaScript enabled.



Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 74 K
Funding amount
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MNRH) will create DISCOVER SCI, an interactive patient education eLearning package consisting of online modules and simulation-based training tailored to address the patient education needs of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) during the acute and post-acute periods of injury. The primary goal of the DISCOVER-SCI project is to increase knowledge and skills uptake that enable healthy practices among people living with SCI and ultimately reduce the occurrence and debilitating effects of preventable secondary health conditions and rehospitalizations. Extensive, targeted and accessible patient education addressing preventable causes of rehospitalization is needed and has the potential to better prepare people for their lives beyond rehabilitation.

Length of stay in acute rehabilitation has decreased significantly in the past decades, leaving patients with SCI with a shortened and more strenuous inpatient rehabilitation period. Traditional patient education tools that may have been effective in past decades when the inpatient rehabilitation phase spanned months are not effective for the contemporary truncated inpatient period due to time constraints and a lack of learning readiness. As a result, people with SCI are more likely to leave inpatient rehabilitation without the knowledge needed to adequately care for themselves, which may play a critical role in the development of secondary medical conditions, rehospitalizations, functional independence, community re-entry, and return to work or school. Recent data indicate that a staggering 36.2% of SCI patients are re-hospitalized in the first year following initial injury.

DISCOVER-SCI will benefit individuals with SCI by addressing barriers to patient education that prevent patients from obtaining quality information on topics most relevant to their stage in the rehabilitation journey and at a time when they are most ready to receive and act upon the information. During the grant period, MNRH will meet the following objectives:
- Create four online educational modules for people with acute/subacute SCI and family/caregivers
- Deliver community outreach patient education through hands-on simulation skills training with task trainers (mannequins) utilizing our existing mobile simulation lab
- Measure consumer uptake of SCI knowledge, practical self-care skills and feedback using surveys, formative skills checklists and post-simulation debriefing.

By improving the delivery of education around key SCI topics and expanding how and when that education can be accessed, the project supports the goals of the Neilsen Foundation’s Creating Opportunity & Independence portfolio. DISCOVER-SCI will help people living with SCI address critical self-care needs in post-acute rehabilitation, so that they may successfully progress through the rehabilitation journey and live their lives as fully and independently as possible.
(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
Similar projects All >
Sorted by: Start Date
Project list item
Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with SCI

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Abby Ross

USD 300,000
2019 - 2022
Project list item
Microbiome-based Interventions for SCI-induced Gastrointestinal Dysfunction

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Tim Sampson, Sandra Mary Garraway

USD 256,000
2019 - 2021
Project list item
A combinatorial strategy to improve micturition reflex after spinal cord injury

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Yu-Shang Lee, Mark Varney, Ching-Yi Lin

USD 641,000
2019 - 2022
Project list item
Los Angeles and Hollywood Working Groups for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Jennifer Mizrahi

USD 300,000
2019 - 2022
Project list item
Improving Creative Access at SFAI

Craig H Neilsen Foundation to Jamie Blosser

USD 54,000
2019 - 2020



    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC


  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Physical Rehabilitation


    7.1 Individual care needs

  • Health Research Areas

    Health services & systems

  • Broad Research Areas

    Public Health