Oral Communication

The SCI Community Survey: Highlights related to met or unmet needs for services after return in community living.

Prof Luc NOREAUa, Mr Jean LEBLONDa, Mr Frédéric DUMONTa

a Université Laval / CIRRIS

Background and objectives: The SCI Community Survey is the largest consumer survey of its type ever undertaken in Canada (n=1549 participants including 412 with a non-traumatic lesion). The primary aim was to identify the most salient needs for services after returning to community living.

Method: Thirteen domains were identified as relevant for the Survey, including home accessibility, personal services, transportation, healthcare and job training.

Results: Data showed that expressed needs for services are higher in participants with traumatic lesion compared to non-traumatic lesion (ex.: technical aids and equipment, 93% vs. 82%; short distance transportation, 87% vs. 77%, housing accessibility 86% vs. 71) suggesting more incapacities in people with traumatic lesion. The percentage of participants with met needs (to a great extent or completely) exceeded 70% for needs related to transportation, housing accessibility, technical aids and equipment, general health care and personal services. However, less than 50% of participants considered needs related to emotional counselling, recreation and leisure, income support as fulfilled. These proportions do not differ between people with traumatic or non-traumatic lesion. Several environmental factors hindered the participants’ capacity to fulfil their needs for services, particularly the availability, the cost and the process to get the services and, to some instances, the lack of SCI knowledge of healthcare providers.

Discussion: The survey results allowed a better knowledge of met / unmet needs for services in people with spinal cord injury in Canada and the identification of potential improvement in healthcare service delivery in order to decrease the impact of incapacities after returning to community living.

Reference: NOREAU L, NOONAN VK, COBB J, LEBLOND J, DUMONT FS. The spinal cord injury community survey: a national and comprehensive study to portrait the life of Canadians with a spinal cord injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation ; 20 (4) : 249-264; 2014.