Travel Grants

Dr Sonja de Groot

Dr Sonja de Groot and her research group were awarded a 2020 SCI Collaboration Grant to attend ISCoS 2020:Virtual. The team comprises:

  • Dr Sonja de Groot, Senior Researcher, Reade – Center for Rehabilitation and Rheumatology, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dr Matthijs Wouda, Physiotherapist, Sunnaas Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  • Associate Professor Rita van den Berg-Emons, Researcher, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Dr Tobias Holmlund, Physiotherapist, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr Kerstin Wahman, Physiotherapist, Rehabstation, Stockholm, Sweden

The group is planning to set up a research project in which the main objective is to study the associations between objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour and health outcomes in people with chronic SCI as a basis for evidence-based guidelines to achieve health benefits. As the prevalence of SCI is rather low, it is necessary to align this study in several countries in order to increase the scale of the project and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge as well as to build relationships between individuals, institutions and countries involved in lifestyle-based SCI research. Therefore, they would like to create a research group, also on the Spinal Cord Research Hub, with researchers with a short and long track record in the SCI and physical activity field to provide evidence-based guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour in SCI.

L-R: Sonja de Groot, Matthijs Wouda, Rita van den Berg-Emons, Tobias Holmlund, Kerstin Wahman

The research group share their experiences from the conference.

“The members of our research group were excited about attending the first virtual ISCoS congress. The congress’ internet side was well-organised and it was easy to navigate. Being able to attend lectures and parallel sessions when it suited our busy time schedules was a great advantage. In addition, it was interesting to be able to read comments and follow discussions between presenters and the other participants. It was also very nice that one of our groups members was able to present her work on physical activity and health during this congress. This also enabled us to get in touch with other people who are interested in these topics.

Our research group had a virtual meeting after the congress in which we discussed some of the lectures and posters, in particular those on physical activity, metabolism and exercise guidelines. This is a great way to share new knowledge and different opinions on important SCI-related issues.

Three participants of our group also joined the SRI grant meeting on the 27th of August 2020. It was interesting to hear how the COVID-19 situation affects SCI rehabilitation in different parts of the world. This meeting was a great opportunity to get to know more researchers in the field.

We are looking forward to the next ISCoS meeting and hope to be able to meet each other in person and to extend our research collaboration!”

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