Identifying opportunities to improve cardiometabolic health in adults with spinal cord injury during specialist rehabilitation



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences


The United Nations in coalition with the World Health Organization (WHO) envision to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 25% by 2025. Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) are at greater risk of CVD than the general population necessitating care provision to minimise risk in this group, striving to achieve CVD risk reduction targets. Notably, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend a public health strategy to improve cardiometabolic health, targeting dietary and lifestyle behaviours. Health promotion initiatives targeting risk minimisation for traditional risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diets are available in community settings. However, there are limited hospital or health-care facility-based interventions to abate CVD risk, particularly in individuals with SCI.

This PhD therefore sought to explore and evaluate the CVD risk profile, dietary knowledge and practices of individuals with SCI in specialist rehabilitation to inform development of a targeted nutrition intervention for promoting cardiometabolic health. Thereby, this PhD aimed to substantiate evidence to support the recommendations for a health promoting dietary pattern as a preventative care strategy in rehabilitation.

FoR codes (2020)

3209 Neurosciences, 3210 Nutrition and dietetics, 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science

This thesis is unavailable until Friday, September 13, 2024



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.