Who are we?
The International Network of SCI physiotherapists (SCIPT) is a not-for-profit initiative of physiotherapists worldwide. It is for physiotherapists working in the area of spinal cord injuries although other physiotherapists are welcome to join. We are an official discipline-specific subgroup of the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).
What is our mission?
The mission of the International Network of SCI physiotherapists (SCIPT) is to reduce disability and promote participation for people with spinal cord injury and SCI-related disorders (SCI/D) across the globe regardless of income, gender, age, religion, culture or access to health care.
What are our aims?
The aims of the International Network of SCI physiotherapists (SCIPT) are to:
- facilitate communication amongst SCI/D physiotherapists about SCI/D treatments, initiatives, research and all SCIPT-related issues
- encourage the exchange of information and ideas among SCI physiotherapists including clinicians, academics and researchers
- foster collaborative projects and research
- provide education to students and novice clinicians who care for people with SCI/D
- provide educational resources free-of-charge in order to reduce disparities in healthcare, to assist clinicians in less-resourced areas, and to allow for the expedient interpretation and dissemination of information pertinent to clinical practice
- increase awareness of SCI/D issues worldwide
- provide guidance and information to organizations and governments influencing the provision of SCIPT services
- increase awareness across the globe about SCIPT-related issues in all countries
- ensure the voice of SCIPT members are heard in key organizations such as WCPT and ISCOS
What are our guiding principles?
The guiding principles of the International Network of SCI physiotherapists (SCIPT) are:
Autonomy: The role of SCIPT is to promote and advance the care of people with SCI/D in order to help these individuals maximize their recoveries, independence, and return to participation in society.
Veracity: SCIPT is obligated to be forthcoming about the scope and capacity of physiotherapy to influence the health and lives of people with SCI/D; therefore, we will advocate for the use of evidence-based physiotherapy. We will advocate use of best practice guidelines in the absence of published evidence. We shall also strive to inform the people accessing our publications and materials about limitations and/or possible adverse outcomes associated with physiotherapy interventions. As healthcare providers, we shall demand ethical behavior from ourselves and our membership.
Nonmaleficence: Above all else we will work to ensure that our organizational efforts produce no harm.
Altruism: As members of an international community of healthcare providers, it is our obligation to work to reduce barriers that prevent fair opportunities for people with disabilities. It is also our responsibility to identify, develop, and sensibly utilize resources to correct or compensate for these various disadvantages. People with SCI/D are our partners in these endeavors.
Confidentiality: SCIPT members shall not author, publish, or disseminate any materials that breach the medical confidence of people with SCI/D.
Justice: We support the World Health Organization and other programs in their efforts to reduce health inequalities by improving social conditions that affect the health of societies. To this end we promote the idea that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect and to participate in shaping their own opportunities. We are guided by the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution on "Disability, including prevention, management and rehabilitation. SCIPT shall vigorously advocate for people with SCI/D by participating in efforts and organizations that influence health policy and the allocation of resources.
Humility: SCIPT shall be mindful of the influence of our words and deeds, and we shall actively seek the counsel of people outside of our organization.
Flexibility: Our organization shall leave room for growth and change allowing us to adapt to the evolving needs of people with SCI/D and the clinicians who serve them.
What is our Constitution?
Our Constitution was endorsed by members in January 2013. You can view it here.
What is the managerial structure?
There are three levels to the managerial structure of the International Network of SCIPT. They are:
- The Executive
- The Board
- Country representatives
The executive consists of:
- Chairperson: Ulla Bergner (Germany
- Vice chairperson: Rita Henn (South Africa)
- Secretary: Annelies de Wolf (Australia)
The executive consists of:
- European representative: Sacha van Langeveld (Netherlands)
- Middle East representative: Veena Laxman (United Arab Emirates)
- South American representative: Guillermo Gomez (Argentina)
- African representativse: Hailu Seifu (Ethiopia), Sameera Haffejee (South-Africa)
- North American representatives: Karen Hutchinson (USA) and Josh Williams (Canada)
- Immediate past chairperson: Lisa Harvey (Australia)
This group consists of up to 7 senior physiotherapists from 45 countries (currently 200 physiotherapists in total). These members are all joined on a list server. If you have an issue or question that you would like raised through list-server group then please contact your representative.
Membership to this network is open to all SCI physiotherapists (PTs). You will be automatically joined up when you register on this website.
Details about the country representatives and list-server group
The following countries are currently represented on the list-server group:
Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam, Vietnam and Virgin Islands.
What if my country is not represented on the list-server group?
If your country is not represented then you should contact us.
What if my country has less than 7 representatives on the list-server group?
Please contact us if your country has less than the maximum 7 representatives on the list-server group and you would like to join.
Why can't everyone interested be a part of the list-server group?
This would be ideal, however, it would lead to an unmanageable number of emails. For this reason we have restricted membership. However, you can use your country's representative to raise an issue or question for you on the list-server group. Alternatively, join our face book page and join the discussion with members here.
How were the country representative for the list-server group identified?
Key organisations and spinal units within each country were contacted and asked to nominate senior PTs. This was the best we could do in the absence of organised SCIPT societies within each country. So, the process of identifying senior PTs was not ideal nor was it democratic. No doubt, key and senior PTs have not been contacted. However, if you have a SCIPT society or network within your country by which you can put in place a more democratic process, then please discuss this with your current representatives and feel free to implement it.
When did the list-server group start?
This group started in July 2008. This website was launched in April 2009 and then updated in April 2010.
2011 - 2013 - Lisa Harvey (Australia)
2014 - Joy Bruce (USA)
2015 - present - Ulla Bergner (Germany)
Join us on Facebook
Join us on Facebook and speak to other members of this network
Thanks to the following organizations who have provided financial support to the development of this website:
- The Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, USA
- The John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia
- Motivation (provided some of the images in the top banner of the home page)