The ISPO Australia Research Grant was established with the aim to improve research quality, strengthen the evidence supporting treatment and build the skills of early career researchers. We are proud to have seen a number of outputs achieved from grant recipients.

In 2015, the grant was jointly awarded to two Occupational Therapy PhD students Mr. Mohammad Mosayed Ullah and Mr. S. M. Abul Bashar from La Trobe University. Their work aims to identify what environmental and psychosocial factors are important to enable the work participation of people with spinal cord injury and lower limb amputation in Bangladesh.

Updates will be provided as the research progresses.

RESEARCH UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2016

What environmental and psychosocial factors are important to enable the work participation of people with spinal cord injury and lower limb amputation in Bangladesh?

Principal Investigators:
Mohammad Mosayed Ullah(1) and SM Abul Bashar(1)
Supervisors: Dr Rwth Stuckey(2) Professor Ellie Fossey(4) and Dr Michael Dillon(3)

(1)Occupational Therapy, (2)Ergonomics (3)Prosthetics & Orthotics, LaTrobe University (4)Occupational Therapy, Monash University.

We were delighted to be recipients of the ISPO Australia research grant for 2015. 

Our research project aims to identify the environmental and psychosocial factors that affect the work participation of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and lower limb amputation (LLA) in Bangladesh. 

In Bangladesh, standards of workplace safety are generally poor and accidents resulting in serious injury and disability are common. SCI and LLA are two of the most common injuries, typically affecting young men working in agriculture, construction and manufacturing. Unfortunately, family income is linked to males being employed and with no system of social welfare, serious disability can be devastating.

There are many environmental and psychosocial barriers that may limit participation in work after disability including: inaccessible workplaces and transport, depression and anxiety, loss of roles within the family, and social isolation. Few studies have investigated the specific barriers that affect work participation in people with SCI and LLA, and none have looked to developing countries like Bangladesh where the cultural norms and the built environment differ.

As a part of the project, we will interview thirty people to better understand their perspective of work participation and the factors that were important for returning to work. So far, we have completed 20 semi-structured interviews of people with SCI in Bangladesh. To capture the breadth of the different experience, we’ve interviewed people in rural and urban environments, people of differing age, sex, work experience and time since injury/amputation.

We’re in the process of analysing these interviews and plan to collect data for people living with LLA in Bangladesh early this year. 

The results from this study will help to inform the design of rehabilitation programs in Bangladesh that help people participate in employment and other activities that bring meaning to their life.  

We are grateful to ISPO Australia and the Grant Review Committee for awarding this grant. The grant has allowed us to travel to Bangladesh for our data collection, provide reimbursement for participants and transcribe interviews. We also gratefully acknowledge the contribution of our supervisors who helped us develop skills in grant writing and continue to support our development as researchers.

 

The gentleman who runs this small shop in Bangladesh was successful in returning to work following his SCI. As you can see from the photo, using a wheelchair without paved sidewalks is just one of the everyday challenges faced  by people with SCI in Bangladesh.

 

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