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Research Divisions

SPF consists of two research divisions:

  • SwiSCI (Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study)
  • The Division of “Health Sciences and Health Policy” in cooperation with the University of Lucerne

The two divisions consist of several research units which represent functioning and rehabilitation research from a comprehensive perspective.
SwiSCI consists of the study centre (observatory) with the cohort study as well as 3 research units with 1 - 3 collaborative interest groups each. The 3 SwiSCI research units deal with the topics physical capacity, capacity of individuals in their immediate and larger environment as well as health services research. Overall goals of the 3 units are:

  • Impairment and symptom control, capacity building, health maintenance and successful aging with disability
  • Participation and social integration from the perspective of the person versus the perspective of the society
  • Appropriate service provision and payment along the continuum of care, in the clinic and in the community and over the course of the health condition and the lifespan

The Division for Health Sciences and Health Policy consists of 2 units:

  • Functioning and Health Sciences with focus on philosophy of health and health communication, personal factors and functioning, epidemiology and statistical modeling of functioning
  • Disability Policy Unit with focus on human rights and fair opportunities as well as Policy and Functioning in the international context

Both units are concentrating on the specific situation of people with paraplegia or tetraplegia as well as the situation of people with different health conditions according to the principle of “learning for and from Spinal Cord Injury”.

Also part of this division are the research network of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the structured PhD program and the course program offered by SPF in cooperation with the University of Lucerne, as well as the Human Functioning Forum.

In addition to the divisions described above, there are 2 laboratory research units working together with Swiss universities in the Spinal Injury Research division. The current projects groups are working in the field of applied basic research.

There are also network related projects which mainly serve the purpose of establishing interesting partnerships or to anchor locally. All the research units together consist of 44 employees, including 12 doctoral students plus BA and MA students from universities in Switzerland and abroad.

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