Teaching healthcare providers to facilitate self-management of spinal cord injury

Researchers on this project are developing and evaluating an e-learning course that combines disability competency training with education about how to use self-management assessment and skill development in clinical encounters.

This study aims to enhance the knowledge, attitude and ability of healthcare providers to partner with individuals with spinal cord injuries in managing their health in order to promote improved outcomes and better quality of life. 

Start date: 4/1/2015
End date: 3/31/2017

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Clinicians and educators from the areas of rehabilitation, family medicine, and pharmacy will develop videos, interactive narratives, and quizzes that illustrate key points and model relevant skills related to patient self-management and independent living for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

The primary goals of this project will be to effect change in provider knowledge, attitude and behavior, with the ultimate goal to improve patient outcomes (including health and quality of life) by providing this training to healthcare providers and trainees from various backgrounds and settings.

Researchers will seek to engage individuals who complete the experimental e-learning course and measure their levels of satisfaction with the course’s content and flow.

Researchers will also evaluate if the health care providers and trainees who complete the e-learning course will demonstrate increased level of skill in collaborating with individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Working with Pal on this project are the following researchers:

  • Michelle Meade (Principal Investigator), associate professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U-M Health System
  • Sonya Miller, assistant professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U-M Health System
  • Randall Brown, clinical assistant professor of health behavior and health education, School of Public Health
  • Lisa DiPonio, assistant professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U-M Health System
  • Michael McKee, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, U-M Medical School
  • Steven Erickson, associate professor of social and administrative sciences, U-M College of Pharmacy


Teaching Healthcare Providers to Facilitate Self-Management of Spinal Cord Injury, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation: $14,539


The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is a private organization that supports research that seeks to understand the biological basis for recovery of function after spinal cord injuries. The Foundation also supports clinical research to develop new treatments and create innovative rehabilitation programs for people living with spinal cord injuries throughout the United States and Canada.