Impact of Legal Regulations and Administrative Policies on Persons with SCI: Identifying Potential Research Priorities Through Expert Interviews

Trezzini & Phillips (2014) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

legal regulations and administrative policies for people with spinal cord injury

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Switzerland

Why was it conducted at all?

There have also been a number of efforts to determine research priorities with regard to health and disability in general and SCI in particular. However, with the exception of Stucki et al., who considered the impact of policies and laws on the lived experience and functioning of people with SCI to be an important research area, the topic of legal regulations and administrative policies did not feature in these studies. This apparent neglect of legal frameworks, however, is in stark contrast to the considerable importance that has been accorded to ‘‘environmental factors'' in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), which currently represents the most dominant conceptual model of disability.

What was the objective?

to identify research gaps and potential research priorities concerning the impact that legal regulations and administrative policies in general as well as the social insurance system in particular might have on people with spinal cord injury (SCI) who are living in Switzerland

What was the outcome?

a list of 4 research areas

How long did the research prioritization take?

February 2011 - March 2011

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: interviews: semi-structured schedule, participants were given the opportunity to spontaneously name any issue they considered to be of particular importance to them in the present context, participants were asked about areas where they saw a need for action and the research gaps they perceived. Step 2: data processing: thematic analysis, four areas identified

Which stakeholders took part?

Healthcare professionals working for or being associated with the largest sci clinic in Switzerland. 14 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Due to resource constraints, the project team chose to focus exclusively on the largest of four specialized SCI clinics in Switzerland. The project team then decided on which departments and associated organizations were most likely to be able to meaningfully comment on the direct and indirect impact of legal regulations and administrative policies on persons with SCI. Six departments/organizations were chosen: Outpatient department, Patient administration department, Social counseling department, Vocational counseling department, ParaHelp, Swiss Paraplegic Association. The actual interviewees were selected in consultation with the department heads. Where feasible the latter were also interviewed. The final, purposive sample consisted of 14 interviewees.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.