Health status, quality of life and socioeconomic situation of people with spinal cord injuries six years after discharge from a hospital in Bangladesh


Study design

Cross-sectional analysis of a mixed retrospective and prospective inception cohort study.


To determine health status, quality of life and socioeconomic situation of people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) 6 years after discharge from a hospital in Bangladesh.




All patients alive 6 years after discharge from a hospital in Bangladesh were interviewed using the SF12 health survey, the SCI Secondary Conditions Scale, the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD), and the participation in society items of World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0). Additional questions determined participants’ socioeconomic and employment status.


The cohort comprised 260 participants: 145 used wheelchairs for mobility and 115 were able to walk at discharge. The median (IQR) Mental and Physical Component scores for the SF12 were 54 (49–57) and 44 (40–51) points, respectively. The median scores for the SCI Secondary Conditions Scale, CESD and WHODAS 2.0 were 8 (4–13), 7 (4–13) and 12 (6–17) points, respectively. Fourteen percent of all participants and 23% of those who used wheelchairs had a pressure ulcer at the time of interview. Forty-four percent of participants were unemployed and 65% were living below the poverty line (median (IQR) income, USD 0 (0–91)) per month.


Many people with SCI in Bangladesh are unemployed and living in poverty with a reduced quality of life and participation. Pressure ulcers are a common complication.

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We acknowledge staff members and patients of the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed.

Author contributions

MSH conceived the research question, designed the study, collected the data, analysed the data, interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. LAH and RDH conceived the research question, designed the study, analysed the data, interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript. MSI and MAR collected the data and contributed to the research question, the design of the study, the interpretation of the data and the write-up of the manuscript. JVG and SD contributed to the interpretation of the data and the write-up of the manuscript.


This work was supported by Bridging Support Grants from The University of Sydney [171654 and 2013-00033].

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Correspondence to Lisa A. Harvey.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of ethics

The study received ethical approval (CRP-R&E-0401-218) from CRP and was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Participants provided informed consent. We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations concerning the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during the course of this research.

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