Travel Grants

Dr Diana Dorstyn

Dr Diana Dorstyn and her research group were awarded a 2020 SCI Collaboration Grant to attend ISCoS 2020:Virtual.

Diana is a Senior Lecturer and Registered Psychologist in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Her research interests include the promotion of health outcomes after a major trauma or disability and the application of internet-based interventions in psychological practice.

The research group – which includes A/Prof Rachel Roberts, Prof Anna Chur-Hansen, Wendy Fraser and Sarah Kuberek – share their experiences from the conference.

“Our team is grateful to the SRI for providing us the opportunity to attend the 59th International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS) Annual Scientific Meeting, held as a virtual event this year. Having the pre-recorded sessions made available for 1 month after the conference was a huge advantage as this allowed us to listen to concurrent talks by leading experts in spinal rehabilitation – and there were ample to choose from!  Several instructional courses and workshops were standouts: Dr. Stanley Ducharme’s Overcoming Adversity after Spinal Cord Injury – where discussion focused on the critical role of peer support throughout the care continuum; an Editor’s tips on Getting Published in Spinal Cord (note: be kind to reviewers!); the Cochrane Rehabilitation Strategy – their planned e-book will be invaluable to clinicians, researchers and students; and the impressive International SCI Survey with over 12,000 participants.

It was also pleasing to see local research by In-Voc, an early intervention vocational rehabilitation service dedicated to clients with spinal cord injury. This presentation was very relevant to our team as we are currently working on several exploratory studies examining the importance of timely, targeted counselling for job-seekers with a physical disability. Our preliminary findings are consistent with the evidence-based principles flagged at ISCoS, particularly the need to tailor employment supports to individuals’ intentions and readiness to seek work. We will certainly incorporate the lessons learnt at ISCoS in our own research and practice and are planning to present at a future meeting.”


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