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Abstract

Persons with spinal cord injury and dysfunction (SCI/D) often experience multimorbidity and secondary complications. Pharmacological treatments are often used to manage these conditions and complications. Funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, we used mixed methods to better understand medication management for persons with spinal cord injury and dysfunction (SCI/D). Using administrative health data, we described the prevalence and risk factors associated with polypharmacy and opioid use for persons with traumatic spinal cord injuries and non-traumatic spinal cord dysfunction. Using qualitative semi-structured interviews, we explored the experiences of healthcare and service providers and persons with SCI/D with medication (self-) management. We will discuss the findings and implications for research, practice/everyday life, and policy.

Biography

Dr. Sara Guilcher (PT, PhD) is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and has cross-appointments to the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Guilcher also has scientific appointments at ICES (ICES@UofT), and West Park Healthcare Centre. As a clinician scientist with a background in physical therapy, Dr. Guilcher is a Canadian Institutes for Health Research-funded Embedded Clinician Scientist working with Health Quality Ontario (Ontario, Canada) to improve transitions in care for populations with multimorbidity and disability. Using mixed-methods, Dr. Guilcher and her team are examining optimal medication management for persons with spinal cord injury/dysfunction, with the goal to improve medication self-management strategies and support. 

Lauren Cadel (MSc) is a Research Coordinator at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and a Research Associate at the Institute for Better Health at Trillium Health Partners. In 2019, Lauren completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Sara Guilcher. Her thesis focused on exploring the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of persons with spinal cord injury/ dysfunction pertaining to the management of prescribed and unprescribed medications.

Amanda Everall (MSc) is a Research Coordinator at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto in 2018. Her thesis research used a multi-case study approach to describe the community pharmacy enablers (structures and processes) that supported best practice adherence-focused medication review services. Her research resulted in the development of a conceptual definition.