Fundamentals of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Indianapolis, IN

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In collaboration with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, the iKT is offering Fundamentals of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation for Physical Therapists.

  • Online Training: November 1 – 15

  • In-Person Training: November 16 – 17, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (map)

  • Mentoring (Optional): January 13, Feb 3, March 2, 2020


Clinical care for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) is complex and multifaceted. Academic preparation for both occupational and physical therapists may not be of sufficient duration to prepare clinicians for this specialty area of practice. This course aims to provide resident clinicians and practicing therapists with foundational knowledge rooted in contemporary evidence in providing rehabilitation to individuals with spinal cord injury.

Online courses will provide a foundation for knowledge needed to apply targeted elements of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. In-person training will primarily focus on the application of this information to clinical practice with the unique opportunity to learn with community volunteers living with spinal cord injury. This opportunity will not only allow course participants to hone their clinical skills, but will provide a valuable depth and insight into the lived experience of those with spinal cord injury from the participants themselves.

This program uses a variety of evidence-based KT strategies to improve knowledge, skill, and facilitate application of information learned in this course to practice. Participants will also be asked to complete an online survey on current knowledge, skills, barriers, and facilitators related to SCI rehabilitation before the course. Information obtained from the survey will guide the tailoring of information for the program participants.

  • Online course on Spinal Cord Injury (4.0 CEUs)

  • Required readings and resource review

  • In-person, “hands-on” workshop (2 days; 15.5 CEUs)

  • Three post-course online group mentoring sessions (1 hour each)

  • Participation in an online community of practice for one year which will offer implementation support from peers and experts.

Program objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Design therapeutic interventions aimed at maximizing participation for individuals with spinal cord injury

  2. Describe common acute and chronic secondary complications from spinal cord injury and the therapists role in prevention

  3. Perform independent ASIA examination and interpret findings

  4. Apply evidence for prognosis for all types of functional mobility in individuals with spinal cord injury to clinical cases

  5. Evaluate and progress functional mat skills, transfers skills, and wheelchair skills

  6. Apply and progress high-intensity variable gait training in patient care

  7. Explain how to safely monitor patients during application of functional mobility and ambulation training

  8. Apply principles of shoulder preservation and health throughout all aspects of mobility

  9. Express an appreciation of the lived experience of spinal cord injury and acknowledge its relevance in holistic rehabilitation