Establishing the structure of a prospective spinal cord injury (SCI) patient registry.
To develop a registry for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) in Austria as a base for addressing research questions, improving patient outcomes, and establishing a platform for future clinical trials.
Coordinating institution: Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Austria; participating partners are located in nine states in Austria.
The Austrian Spinal Cord Injury Study (ASCIS) collects longitudinal data on simple forms within a 7-stage follow-up examination timeline.
The implementation of the ASCIS in 2012 created the first nationwide SCI patient registry in Austria. ASCIS is currently implemented in 17 trauma hospitals in 9 Austrian states, and over 150 individuals with acute tSCI have been registered to date. As in Austria, the structure of the health-care system does not involve a specialized SCI center covering the primary health care and the rehabilitation care, major challenges have to be overcome to involve all participating primary centers and rehabilitation centers, which perform tSCI patient care, for ASCIS. Through implementing ASCIS, a network of SCI clinicians and researchers, which is now beginning to support translational research and to initiate clinical trials for patients with tSCI, has formed.
ASCIS is uniquely positioned in Austria to capture detailed information from the early acute to the chronic phases of tSCI, to provide this information also to bigger and translational settings, and to connect researchers and clinicians to facilitate clinical research on tSCI.