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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  SPINAL CORD INJURIES Freefree

Europa Medicophysica 2000 September;35(3):155-60

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

GISEM: The methodology of the study

Spizzichino L.

Department of Prevention, Ministry of Health, Rome, Italy


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BACKGROUND: The Italian Group for the Epidemiological Study of Spinal Cord Injuries (­GISEM) is ­formed by phy­si­cians and ­health ­care work­ers ded­i­cat­ed to the ­field of reha­bil­i­ta­tion. It was creat­ed in 1996 ­with the aim of stud­y­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tics and man­age­ment of ­patients ­with spi­nal ­cord inju­ries (SCI). The aim of the ­present ­work is to ­describe the meth­o­dol­o­gy of the ­study.
METHODS: The ­study ­involved set­ting up a mul­ti-cen­tre data­base on SCI in Italy. Information was col­lect­ed pros­pec­tive­ly ­from ­each cen­tre and con­cerned dis­charg­es ­from the par­tic­i­pat­ing cen­tres in the peri­od February 1 1997 - January 31, 1999. Data ­were col­lect­ed ­using an 80-­item com­pu­ter­ised ­form, record­ed on flop­py ­disk and ­sent to the co-ordi­nat­ing cen­tre for anal­y­sis eve­ry ­three ­months. The sci­en­tif­ic com­mit­tee ­that pro­posed and organ­ised the ­study ­drew up the pro­to­col. Meetings ­were ­held by the com­mit­tee eve­ry six ­months to dis­cuss the ­progress of the ­study.
RESULTS: Thirty-sev­en cen­tres most­ly sit­u­at­ed in north­ern and cen­tral Italy par­tic­i­pat­ed. When the ­study was con­clud­ed on January 31 1999, infor­ma­tion on 2210 admis­sions for SCI had ­been col­lect­ed. Of ­these, 280 ­were per­sons admit­ted ­more ­than ­once and/or to dif­fer­ent cen­tres dur­ing the ­study peri­od.
CONCLUSIONS: The ­GISEM ­study has pro­vid­ed the larg­est Italian ­data set on SCI, gath­er­ing a ­large ­body of infor­ma­tion on aetio­lo­gy and the ­care and reha­bil­i­ta­tion of SCI ­patients. This infor­ma­tion pro­vides a ­base on ­which ­future ­health ­care pol­i­cies can be eval­u­at­ed and ­acts as a ­source for improv­ing the stan­dard of ­care and reha­bil­i­ta­tion in Italy.

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