Report from Battambang Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center

Report from Battambang Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center

Dates of visit: 17-23.03 2010


Purpose of this visit.

Following the visit to the spinal cord injury rehabilitation center by Thomas Glott, Rune Nilsen and Sathia Kim in May 2009, we decided the best way we could assist the center was through research based activities in collaboration with the very much qualified staff there. The aim of the project will be to assist the persons suffering from spinal cord injury in Cambodia and at the same time build the capacity among the staff at the center. The main purpose of this visit was to perform pilot studies in 4 areas in order to further investigate possible future activities.



  • Sokhom Chan, Director and physician Battambang spinal cord rehabilitation center Thomas Glott, physician Sunnaas Hospital Norway
  • Steinar Pedersen, physician National center for telemedicine, Tromsø, Norway
  • Lakhina Yenn, student nutritionphysiology, Oslo, Norway
  • Rune Nilsen, prosthetist and orthotist, Sophies Minde, Oslo, Norway
  • Sathia Kim, administrator Cambodia Trust, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

All participants worked as volunteers during the visit and no salaries were paid.


Activities performed during visit

 1) Quality of life study

We interviewed 27 women with spinal cord injuries a quality of life questionnaire, WHO QOL Bref and collected the data.
3 interviews were performed at home, the rest performed at the spinal cord center in Battambang.
The results from the study will be published as a comparative study, comparing the disabled women QOL with non-disabled women living in the same environment in Cambodia.

2) Clinical examinations of the same 27 paraplegic women participating in the QOL study.

The examinations were performed by the physicians from Norway and Cambodia and findings were noted down.
The findings can be presented as a part of the QOL study and give background information and does give vital knowledge about the physical condition of paraplegic woman living in Cambodia.

3) Urine sample tests

Urine sample tests were taken and examined in order to investigate nutrition and urine/bladder condition among women suffering from spinal cord injuries in Cambodia.

4) Telemedicine

We did a survey on future prospects in using telemedicine for sending x-rays between Cambodia and Norway. The idea is to have experts in Norway evaluate traumas and further treatment of patients. This technology can also be used as an educational and knowledge platform between health personnel staff.
Our findings were positive. All requirements for technical equipment can be fulfilled. Due to the actual cost and to minor amount of patients in the spinal cord injury rehabilitation center at the moment, we are not able to implement telemedicine as part of rehabilitation at this stage.
Telemedicine remains however a vital part of our plan in assisting the spinal cord rehabilitation center in its struggle for development.



Plan for further assistance to the spinal cord rehabilitation center

1) Nutrition study

This study will be performed over a period of 6 months by Lakhina Yenn as a part of her bachelor study in nutrition.
Lakhina Yenn will be working as a volunteer during her work with this study.

2) intensive training programs

Intensive training programs for new and old patients at the spinal cord center will increase the activities at the center and give background information for performing new research projects.
Intensive training programs show very good results for persons suffering from spinal cord injuries in several studies in different countries and we are very optimistic this will be a good modern strategy for further development at the center in Battambang.

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