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An assessment of disability and quality of life in people with spinal cord injury upon discharge from a Bangladesh rehabilitation unit





The purpose of the study was to determine the level of disability and quality of life of people with spinal cord injury at the end of their inpatient rehabilitation at a rehabilitation center in Bangladesh. These outcomes were considered indicators of successful rehabilitation and a basis for comparing the success of reintegration into community.


Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed, Bangladesh.


Two standard structured questionnaires, the WHODAS 2.0 and WHOQOL-BREF, was used to collect data to assess level of disability and quality of life (QOL). Data were analyzed using Mann–Whitney-U test and Kruskal–Wallis test.


One hundred participants (91 men and 9 women) with SCI were recruited. Just prior to discharge from in-patient rehabilitation at CRP people with SCI perceived themselves overall as having on average a mild level of disability, and good QOL in physical, psychological, and environmental health domains. They indicated poor QOL in the social health domain. There were some specific differences in various WHODAS 2.0 Domains and overall scores when comparing age, gender, type and level of injury, occupation, and income. Between-group comparisons indicated that male participants had a significantly higher quality of life in the Environmental Health Domain and those with a paraplegic injury had a significantly higher quality of life in the Physical Health Domain.


By the end of their rehabilitation people with SCI had a relatively positive perception of level of disability and QOL. However, the results of other research has found that post-discharge their disability level increase and QOL decrease across all domains. Hence, it is recommended that more monitoring of level of disability and QOL is conducted post-discharge, along with a greater focus on community-based rehabilitation strategies and procedures to contribute to long-term reduction in level of disability and improved QOL.

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Fig. 1: Full range and interquartile range score of domains of WHODAS 2.0.
Fig. 2: The quality of life of the participants according to four domains of WHOQOL-BREF.
Fig. 3: Full range and interquartile range domain scores of WHOQOL-BREF.

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Any reasonable request for individual participant data will be considered by the authors.


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We are very thankful to all the participants for the voluntary participation. Also, we truly acknowledge the assistance of Abid Hasan Khan.


The study is solely a self-funded and academic work.

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Authors and Affiliations



ER and NB designed the study. ER, MC, MSI, and MFKP conducted the statistical analysis and interpreted the results. ER, NB, MC, MSI, MFKP, and SKD wrote and reviewed the paper.

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Correspondence to Ehsanur Rahman.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study conducted with the ethical clearance of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (CRP/BHPI/IRB/11/2021/537). Also written consent was taken from all the participants.

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Rahman, E., Bardhan, N., Curtin, M. et al. An assessment of disability and quality of life in people with spinal cord injury upon discharge from a Bangladesh rehabilitation unit. Spinal Cord 61, 37–42 (2023).

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