SCIRehab: clinical taxonomy development and application in spinal cord injury rehabilitation research

Short Title:
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2009, vol. 32, issue 3, pp 260-269
Publication Website:
Background/Objective: Applying practice-based evidence research methodology to spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation requires taxonomy (typology or classification) of rehabilitation interventions provided by every discipline contributing to SCI rehabilitation. The rehabilitation field currently lacks such taxonomy. Methods: SCIRehab project researchers and clinicians representing 7 rehabilitation disciplines from 6 US inpatient SCI rehabilitation facilities worked in discipline groups during 2 face-to-face meetings and weekly discipline-specific teleconferences for 9 months to identify key contributions of each discipline to SCI rehabilitation and to develop a classification of treatment interventions used by each discipline. These clinician groups were charged with designing documentation systems that collected enough details to describe treatment adequately while not imposing an unrealistic data collection burden on clinicians. Completed documentation systems were programmed onto handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) to facilitate data entry by clinicians at the point of care. Results: Seven discipline-specific SCI rehabilitation taxonomies were developed that describe and quantify intervention activities (major categories of treatment offered by the discipline) and the activity-specific details (variables deemed important to fully describe the interventional process). Much treatment information is unique to each discipline; some is common across disciplines. Conclusions: The taxonomies provide a format with which clinicians document actual interventions performed with or for patients. The SCIRehab project has developed the first comprehensive multidisciplinary taxonomy for describing the details of the SCI rehabilitation process and designed a PDA-based documentation system based on that taxonomy that allows clinicians to describe the specifics of their interactions with their patients.
Gassaway J., Whiteneck G., Dijkers M.
Author Address(es):

Some items may be available for document delivery from the National Rehabilitation Information Center. Make a note of the title and any accession number and contact NARIC at 800-346-2742 to request a copy. There is a charge for document delivery from the NARIC collection.