Meet a researcher: Kholofelo Mashola

Kholofelo Mashola is an early career researcher in the field of adult neurology, particularly SCI. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from the University of Limpopo, South Africa, and her Master of Physiotherapy degree from the University of Pretoria.

She is in her final year of her doctorate degree in physiotherapy, with a focus on pain after SCI. Kholofelo is also a member on our Spinal Cord Research Hub (SCoRH), and we asked her a few questions about her interests and aims.

Spinal Research Institute (SRI): Tell us a bit about what you do in the SCI research field?

Kholofelo Mashola (KM): I am a physiotherapist in South Africa currently lecturing spinal cord injury at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. I am in the final stage of my PhD which focuses on the impact of pain after spinal cord injury. Apart from my own research, I also supervise post graduate students and currently finalising research in the following:

  • SCI epidemiology in Gauteng province
  • Physiotherapeutic pain management after SCI
  • Life experiences and community re-integration post-SCI in Malawi

SRI: What got you involved in SCI research?

KM: I discovered my passion in SCI as a young clinician in the government sector, and from there I just could not stop myself. It was as if I discovered a whole different world and I wanted to simply immerse myself in it. I then moved to a spinal unit where I made it a point to learn as much as I can about secondary health conditions after SCI and ways to prevent them. I began giving educational talks to the in-patients at the unit and I registered for my master’s degree focusing on secondary health conditions soon after. Findings from my masters research paved way for my PhD and I have not looked back since.

SRI: You are a member of the Low and Middle Income Countries Group on the SCoRH platform, what are you aiming to achieve?

KM: Evidence-based practice is ideal and knowing what we are doing in our respective countries gives us the opportunity to bridge any gap that may be present. I would like to see a uniform SCI management that allows for the diversity that is alive in all the countries in this group.

You can find Kholofelo on SCoRH.


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