Dr Harvinder Singh Chhabra, Medical Director & Chief of Spine Service of the prestigious Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, has lead a remarkable global initiative by
The ISCoS Textbook on Comprehensive Management of Spinal Cord Injuries is aimed at fulfilling the need for a comprehensive resource addressing management of spinal cord injury (SCI) as a team-based approach. Dr Chhabra has helmed the effort as the Editor in Chief of the compilation of carefully selected works of 184 contributing authors from as many as 25 different countries.
With a view to ensure that the book represents a global scenario, and not just the prevalent expert discourse in the developed world, a separate chapter on Challenges of Management in Less and Least Developed Countries has been added to highlight the difficulties of the less resourced and the solutions to overcome them.
“When it comes to making lives better for people with spinal cord injuries there is a substantial gap between ‘the possible’ and the ‘actually available’. A wide variety of different injury management approaches are practiced in different parts of the world, which may not be adequately shared with healthcare professionals elsewhere. At the same time, a large amount of information and expertise remains unavailable to healthcare professionals in some regions. The textbook aims to compile the latest best practices and approaches being followed by doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthotists, assistive technologists, and counsellors across the world with an objective of making a comprehensive guide available to people everywhere,” says Dr Chhabra.
It is for the first time that an Indian, Dr H S Chhabra, has led a global team as the Editor-in-chief for a medical textbook, which has been brought out for medical fraternity by any international society.
The idea for the textbook was conceptualized while compiling elearnSCI.org, a web-based resource on comprehensive management of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). During its development, it became increasingly obvious that available textbooks are not only incomplete, they do not cater to the team as a whole but to different health professionals involved in management of SCI individually. Moreover, current textbooks have been written by authors from one region of the world and may not represent the global scenario, especially that of emerging countries. Besides, the consumer perspective had not been taken into consideration.
To overcome these issues, an Editorial Board comprising of 25 members was constituted with experts from across the globe representing different health professionals involved in SCI management as well as the consumer group. Wolters Kluwer India was chosen as the publishers of the textbook.
The textbook is a comprehensive guide containing information for all disciplines involved in SCI management including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthotists, assistive technologists, vocational counselors, psychologists, social workers, and peer counsellors, with additional information for doctors.
24 of the 82 chapters in the textbook have been contributed by Indian authors, including 7 by Dr H S Chhabra himself as the first author and 6 as co -author.
A simple and comprehensible presentation has been ensured to help all disciplines to easily assimilate the knowledge. Appropriate use of illustrations and figures has further made the content user friendly. The availability of the online version of the textbook will further help the readers since the two will morph with each other such that indexing, searching, and grasping the entire domain of the topic becomes a lot easier.
The entire work for coordination and administrative support of the project took place from Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. The ISIC Editorial team comprising of 21 experts made valuable contribution to the textbook.
The textbook represents the incessant desire of ISCoS to bridge the gap in professional development opportunities for health professionals involved in SCI management. It will hopefully be able to meet the requirements of the reader.