Traumatic spinal cord injuries etiology, clinical characteristics and mortality in an international perspective

Injury to the spinal cord, due to traumatic causes, affects persons of all ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and demographic locations.

The incidence rates and injury characteristics across continents differ greatly, younger men are at greater risk of traumatic spinal cord injury, and the main causes are fluid and context dependent. There is a lack of empirical data for regions such as Asia, Carribean, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. This limitation greatly impacts the development and implementation of context-specific primary and secondary prevention programs.

Discourse of acute- and rehabilitation outcomes of persons with traumatic spinal cord injury: A comparison between South Africa and Sweden

Responsible: Conran Joseph

The overall aim of is to determine the epidemiological profile, including the incidence, aetiology and mortality of TSCI between South Africa and Sweden and to explore the experience of survivors living with their injury in South Africa concerning reintegration and life after a spinal cord injury, as well as investigating referral pathways based on the quality assurance measures used.

Traumatic spinal cord injury in different contexts; epidemiology, challenges and attitudes

Responsible: Inka Löfvenmark

The main aim is to extend the knowledge of TSCI incidence and epidemiology in Botswana, evaluate a recently established SCI rehabilitation program, and follow up after TSCI. Additionally, the aim is to explore the daily life situation for persons living with a TSCI in Botswana and Sweden, obstacles and challenges in the environment as well as their perception of attitudes from their families and communities.

Primary investigator

H1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

Project members

Conran Joseph, PhD student

Inka Löfvenmark, PhD student

Åke Seiger, professor

Marie Hasselberg, associate professor

Cecilia Norrbrink, associate professor

Claes Hultling, associate professor

Julie Phillips, associate professor

Kerstin Wahman, PhD

Financial support

Erasmus Mundus



Selected scientific publications

Health-related quality of life and physical ability among pregnant women with and without back pain in late pregnancy.
Olsson C, Nilsson-Wikmar L
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2004 Apr;83(4):351-7

Effect of three different physical therapy treatments on pain and activity in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: a randomized clinical trial with 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up postpartum.
Nilsson-Wikmar L, Holm K, Oijerstedt R, Harms-Ringdahl K
Spine 2005 Apr;30(8):850-6

Aerobic fitness in patients at work despite recurrent low back pain: a cross-sectional study with healthy age- and gender-matched controls.
Rasmussen-Barr E, Lundqvist L, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Ljungquist T
J Rehabil Med 2008 May;40(5):359-65

Lumbopelvic pain associated with catastrophizing and fear-avoidance beliefs in early pregnancy.
Olsson C, Buer N, Holm K, Nilsson-Wikmar L
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2009 ;88(4):378-85

Graded exercise for recurrent low-back pain: a randomized, controlled trial with 6-, 12-, and 36-month follow-ups.
Rasmussen-Barr E, Ang B, Arvidsson I, Nilsson-Wikmar L
Spine 2009 Feb;34(3):221-8

Cross-cultural adaptation, reliability and validity of the Persian version of the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale.
Mosallanezhad Z, Salavati M, Hellström K, Reza Sotoudeh G, Nilsson Wikmar L, Frändin K
Disabil Rehabil 2011 ;33(25-26):2446-53

Catastrophizing during and after pregnancy: associations with lumbopelvic pain and postpartum physical ability.
Olsson CB, Grooten WJ, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Harms-Ringdahl K, Lundberg M
Phys Ther 2012 Jan;92(1):49-57

Physical activity and physical functioning in Swedish and Iranian 75-year-olds - a comparison.
Mosallanezhad Z, Hörder H, Salavati M, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Frändin K
Arch Gerontol Geriatr ;55(2):422-30

Walking habits and health-related factors in 75-year-old Iranian women and men.
Mosallanezhad Z, Salavati M, Sotoudeh GR, Nilsson Wikmar L, Frändin K
Arch Gerontol Geriatr ;58(3):320-6

Modified constraint-induced therapy for the lower extremity in elderly persons with chronic stroke: single-subject experimental design study.
Kallio K, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Thorsén AM
Top Stroke Rehabil ;21(2):111-9

Traumatic spinal cord injury in Botswana: characteristics, aetiology and mortality.
Löfvenmark I, Norrbrink C, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Hultling C, Chakandinakira S, Hasselberg M
Spinal Cord 2015 Feb;53(2):150-4