Interest groups are expert fora supporting the Steering Committee and the Study Center by providing scientific expertise and advice in their respective fields of interest. The scope of the different Interest groups and the qualifications and backgrounds of their members reflect the comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach of SwiSCI.
An Interest group enables communication, exchange and discussion in order to develop the research agenda and funding plans and to promote research projects. Interest groups also provide scientific information on request of the Steering Committee and the Study Center, for example questions related to the study design, content and methods, as well as implementation of research results.
The SwiSCI Biomedical Interest Group (BIG) supports and coordinates SwiSCI-based research that involves physical health and morbidity over the life course of persons living with SCI, spanning primary rehabilitation as well as the community setting. The principal focus of BIG is on secondary health conditions that are associated with increased burden among the SCI population, as evidenced by self-report (community surveys); excess prevalence and severity in comparison with the general or disease-specific populations; impairment in activities and participation; impairment in well-being; or excess risk of mortality. To support evidence-based clinical management, community services and policy, studies targeting prognosis and causal inference on the basis of distinct clinical parameters and biomarkers (observational research) or interventions (RCTs) are encouraged.
The SwiSCI Interest Group „Policy, Services and Care Perspective“ coordinates research activities within SwiSCI concerning the optimal provision of services for individuals with spinal cord injury, their family and friends. This comprises investigations on access, quality and costs of services in order to develop resources that offer fair opportunities, effective supply and best care. As focal points, the group aims to improve rehabilitation care by taking a wide perspective including community care services and investigates policies and laws that address the need to live independently.
The Interest Group ‘Psychosocial Perspective’ is mainly involved in supporting the developments in two key domains of SwiSCI-based research on psychosocial issues, i.e., labor market participation and psychosocial epidemiology. The subgroup of labor market participation focuses on practice-related issues, such as employment ability, job matching or sustainable employment in persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI). The main interest of the subgroup psychosocial epidemiology is on adjustment to SCI early after injury and social determinants of health and well-being after community reintegration.