Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What does the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) do?
  2. What is "Knowledge Translation"?
  3. What is a "Model System"?
  4. How does a center earn the designation "Model System"?
  5. How can I find a doctor or facility in my area that specializes in SCI, TBI or burn injury rehabilitation or medical care?
  6. How can I determine which center or hospital provides the best care?
  7. Where can I find information and resources on spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or burn injury?

1. What does the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) do?

The MSKTC receives funding from the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) to summarize research, identify health information needs and develop systems for sharing information for the NIDRR model systems programs in traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI) and burn injury.

Projects include:

Working with experts within the model systems to review the latest research evidence relevant to their fields and summarize what is known about best practices and treatments. Systematic Reviews: (SCI, TBI, Burn)

Identifying what kinds of health information are needed by different groups patients, family members, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, etc. and developing materials that meet help those users make well-informed decisions. Meeting Information Needs

Developing a user-friendly system to share information with different constituent groups (patients, family members, doctors, policy makers, etc). Factsheets: (SCI, TBI, Burn)

Back to top

2. What is "Knowledge Translation"?

Knowledge translation (KT) is the process by which new knowledge is transformed into information that benefits society through changed policies, behaviors, programs and practices. KT involves several steps, from collecting and analyzing the latest research findings on a particular health topic and making recommendations about best practices and treatments based on the research, to ensuring that the information gets to the people who need it in a timely and useful manner. The long term goal of KT is improvement in peoples health and in the health care system.

Back to top

3. What is a "Model System"?

Model Systems are specialized programs of care in spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and burn injury funded by the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) to pool information and conduct research intended to improve the long-term functional, vocational, cognitive and quality-of-life outcomes in these populations.

National database: Each model system invites newly injured individuals to participate in an ongoing national database of patients with SCI, TBI or burn injuries. Data are collected on enrolled patients at regular intervals for up to 30 years after injury. This information is used to further the understanding of the long-term consequences of these injuries and to develop improved treatments and systems of care.

Research studies:

Every model system conducts its own site-specific research study and participates in one or more additional collaborative studies involving several model systems. Studies are aimed at testing innovative approaches to rehabilitation treatments and programs with the goal of improving the lives of individuals with these injuries.

Find a Model Systems center near you:

Back to top

4. How does a center earn the designation "Model System"?

The National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) grants model system designation to institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care and provide the highest level of comprehensive specialty services, from the point of injury through rehabilitation and re-entry into full community life. Becoming a model system is a competitive application process, and grants are awarded for five-year periods.

Back to top

5. How can I find a doctor or facility in my area that specializes in SCI, TBI or burn injury rehabilitation or medical care?

Find a physician who specializes in physical and rehabilitation medicine (called physiatry) on the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine Web site at:

http://www.aapmr.org/patients/findphysician/Pages/default.aspx

Find a rehab facility on the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities Web site at:http://www.carf.org/.

Back to top

6. How can I determine which center or hospital provides the best care?

Ask your physician(s) (trauma physician, neurosurgeon or other referring physician) what center they recommend and why.

Contact the model system of care in your region and ask for a recommendation.

In general, facilities that treat a high volume of people with certain medical problems have the greatest expertise and use the most up-to-date treatment methods for those problems.

Back to top

7. Where can I find information and resources on spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or burn injury?

NARIC is an Internet gateway to disability- and rehabilitation-related information about projects and publications funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), including the Model Systems. Its resources include online publications, searchable databases, and reference and referral data.

Back to top