Developing a contemporary functional outcome measure for spinal cord injury research

Short Title:
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Spinal Cord
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2010, vol. 48, issue , pp 262-267
Publication Website:
Study design: This study used qualitative analysis of focus group discussions. Objective: The primary objective was to select functional activities to include in an item pool, which is the first step in developing a spinal cord injury computer adaptive test (SCI-CAT). <br /><br />Setting: This multisite study was conducted at six US National Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Programs.<br /><br /> Methods: Focus group discussions, which included persons with tetraplegia and paraplegia and clinicians, were conducted. Transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Functional activities were identified, binned, winnowed, written as functional items, and cognitively tested.<br /><br /> Results: Focus group discussion analysis identified 326 functional activity items that fit into categories outlined in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework: Mobility (193 items), including assessment of functioning in a manual (44 items) and power wheelchair (19 items); self-care (109 items); and communication (19 items). Items related to sexual function were also identified (5 items). <br /><br />Conclusion: The SCI-CAT item pool includes items that assess functional activities important to persons with SCI. Items cover a wide range of functional ability and reflect most ICF categories. The SCI-CAT pool is currently being field tested to develop a calibrated item bank. Further development will yield a CAT of functional activities appropriate for SCI research.
Slavin, M.; Kisala, P.; Jette, A.; Tulsky, D.
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