Travel Grants

Dr Sintip Pattanakuhar

Dr Sintip Pattanakuhar, a Rehabilitation Physician, and Dr Buddharaksa Rajchagool, a second year Rehabilitation Medicine resident, received a 2020 SCI Collaboration Grant to attend ISCoS 2020:Virtual. They both work within the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Two areas of their research, which Dr Pattanakuhar presented at ISCoS, are sleep problems for people with spinal cord injury in Thailand, and osteoporosis in spinal cord injury.

L-R: Sintip Pattanakuhar, Buddharaksa Rajchagool

Dr Pattanakuhar and Dr Rajchagool share their experiences from the conference.

Dr Pattanakuhar:

“With the SRI Collaboration Grant, our goal for attending the ISCoS 2020 virtual conference, which is to obtain international research collaborations, has been accomplished. We had an opportunity to present three posters and one oral presentation, to which we received many questions and suggestions from peer-researchers. We answered all of them and plan to request further suggestions via email in the future. For example, we plan to follow up with Dr Jillian Clark from South Australian SCI Research Center about her experience of conducting osteoporosis studies in people with SCI.

We also had an opportunity to attend many lectures, workshops, oral and poster presentations, where we asked questions and provided comments on their to facilitate collaboration. For example, we have emailed Prof Andrei Krassioukov from University of British Columbia, asking about the research investigating cost-effectiveness of using single-use, self-administrated urinary catheters he presented. We received a very nice response from him, and had a Skype meeting and plan to conduct a study to investigate cost-effectiveness of using this type of catheter in an inpatient setting in Thailand. Although the previously mentioned collaborations look very exciting,  we think the most important benefit we have had from this grant is to have a collaboration with the Spinal Research Institute, both in research-direct (I plan to consult Dr Marnie Graco from SRI about conducting sleep researches in people with SCI in Thailand) and indirect ways (an opportunity to involve in Spinal Cord Research Hub (SCoRH) and receiving information regarding further SRI projects). We would like to thank the SRI for this grant that brought me these invaluable opportunities and I wish to expand these benefits to all my SCI patients as much as possible.”

Dr Rajchagool:

“This was my first time ever of participating in an international conference, even though it was virtual the experience and knowledge I received were invaluable. As I have only been in rehabilitation medicine and worked with SCI patients for just over a year, there is much more to learn about. The contents that were particularly interesting were how well healthcare systems in developed countries provide SCI patients, from emergency helicopter patient transfer to incredibly early decompression surgery to great rehabilitation facilities and staff, and social reintegration for patients. Moreover, many studies and research about technology and stem cells are emerging so quickly! On the other hand, getting to know similar challenges in caring for patients with SCI among developing countries like mine also inspire me. People work with dedication to constantly find new ways to improve SCI patient’s quality of life. Seeing this as a big picture, I will endeavour to contribute to lives of people with disabilities.”

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