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Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries Among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Populations of Saskatchewan: A Prospective Outcomes Study

Syed Uzair Ahmed, MD; Suzanne Humphreys, MSc; Carly Rivers, PhD; Melanie Jeffrey, PhD; Daryl R. Fourney, MD.

Can J Surg 2020;63(3):E315-E320. doi: 10.1503/cjs.012819

It has been shown that Aboriginal people experience a higher rate of traumatic spinal cord injuries and traumatic injuries in general. The purpose of the study was to compare injury and demographic characteristics, treatment and flow through the hospital system, and outcomes of self-identified Aboriginal (Indigenous) people with non-Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, who had experienced a new traumatic spinal cord injury.

Key Findings
The study focused on people who were consented to participate in the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan between 2010 and 2016. Compared with non-Aboriginal participants, Aboriginal participants were younger and had fewer existing medical conditions but had similar injury severity and clinical outcomes. Aboriginal participants spent longer in hospital and were not discharged directly to home, indicating the need for better resources for Aboriginal participants to transition back to the community from hospital.

Relation to Praxis Programs
The Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry is a key initiative of Praxis’ Care program, supporting the implementation of best practices for the care of people with SCI, and providing the ability to monitor the incidence of SCI and investigate maximal outcomes for those with a new spinal cord injury.
Praxis is committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by partnering with Aboriginal populations to answer important questions from the community.

This study was led by Daryl Fourney (a RHSCIR site PI) and his fellow Uzair Ahmed, with support from Suzanne Humphreys and Carly S. Rivers from the Praxis Research team.

Related Links

Related Links

Traumatic SCI & Indigenous Populations Webinar

Praxis hosted a webinar presented by Drs. Melanie Jeffrey and Sandra Juutilainen on their mixed-methods pilot study “Indigenous populations and traumatic spinal cord injury: using an Indigenous lens to establish meaningful data.” The study bridges Indigenous epistemology with research to develop a strengths-based narrative about Indigenous persons living with a TSCI.


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