Improving SCI rehabilitation and research with Wellspect’s study grant for nurses

May 4 2022

What can a Wellspect study grant do for you as a healthcare professional? Recent winner of the EAUN study grant, sponsored by Wellspect, Randi Steensgaard, Head of Clinical Nursing Research from Denmark, is making a valuable contribution to Spinal Cord Injury care and research, supporting patients to lead a meaningful life.

EAUN Nurse Grant-1

Wellspect is committed to science and research, exploring all aspects of our bladder and bowel care product usage. Life-cycle analysis, clinical studies and sustainable production are just some of the crucial initiatives that ensure we provide safe and environmentally friendly products for our users. And to support continued research, we provide a study grant each year in partnership with EAUN, available to specialist nurses in the field of continence care.

I'm fascinated by the opportunities for better care, rehabilitation and treatment when working together as a team, focusing on the entire health situation of the patient.
Every clinical pathway should adjust to and encompass the valued elements of a person’s life in light of their disability.

Randi Steensgaard, Head of Clinical Nursing Research

Spinal cord injury (SCI) nursing is complex and covers many important biopsychosocial areas. As Head of Clinical Nursing Research at the Spinal Cord Injury Centre of Western Denmark, Randi’s main areas of interest have been wound prevention and healing, bladder and bowel care and nutrition.

Knowledge development and transfer, across centres in Denmark and Nordic countries have been Randi’s most important focus in recent years.

NutriNord SCI

Together with a group of inter-professional colleagues from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Randi is co-founder of a Nordic initiative  NutriNord SCI, a multidisciplinary network for health professionals interested in or working with areas linked to nutrition and SCI, who want to take part in the development of relevant patient education materials. They have tasked themselves with:

  • Exchanging and discussing research, challenges, experiences and knowledge on SCI and nutrition and planning mutual projects

  • Strengthening the educational approach on the topic nutrition topics for consumers and health professionals

A spinal cord injury may cause permanent disability, accompanied by major changes in the opportunities for living the life one had imagined and planned for.

Randi wants her research to directly benefit the patient. Her PhD thesis is entitled: “Promoting patient participation in rehabilitation – caring for the patient's perspective.” It has been an excellent way to combine the academic disciplines of writing and compiling data, with meeting her patients as a specialist nurse.

A spinal cord injury may cause permanent disability, accompanied by major changes in the opportunities for living the life one had imagined and planned for. Patient participation is a decisive factor in establishing the right program for rehabilitation because the patient will present with varied, individual needs.

Having successfully defended her thesis in July 2020, Randi’s research is now focused on how nurses, through enhanced patient participation, can accompany and support the patient with a spinal cord injury towards a meaningful life.

Randi and co-workers developed four new nursing initiatives aimed at creating time and space for the patient’s participation throughout the entire rehabilitation pathway.

What captures my interest the most is the overall aim of rehabilitation: to support the patient to achieve maximum autonomy, independence, and function, and to attain a meaningful life after SCI

Their work demonstrated the decisive role of the nurse in adapting rehabilitation to the important components of a patient’s life, anticipating their future existence, living with a SCI. Furthermore, by providing a forum for the patients to express their values, routines, wishes and needs, the nurses also had the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the patient’s perspective leading to a more targeted rehabilitation process.

“What captures my interest the most is the overall aim of rehabilitation: to support the patient to achieve maximum autonomy, independence, and function, and to attain a meaningful life after SCI. Patient participation in rehabilitation, adjusted to the patient’s wishes, needs and beliefs are of great importance to the success of rehabilitation. My wish is to contribute to the scientific knowledge about how we, as health professionals, can contribute to this effort” says Randi.

Nurses – apply for study grants

Topics: European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN), Nursing