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Volume 44 Number 1 2007
Pages 65 — 68

Abstract - Spinal Cord Independence Measure: Comprehensive ability rating scale for the spinal cord lesion patient

Amiram Catz, MD, PhD;* Malka Itzkovich, MA, OT

Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Raanana, Israel; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Abstract — The Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) is, at present, the only comprehensive rating scale that measures the ability of patients with spinal cord lesions (SCL) to perform everyday tasks according to their value for the patient. This article describes the scale and its scoring techniques, presents the purposes for which SCIM is used, and details its advantages for patients with SCL. Findings of an international multicenter study supported the validity and reliability of its third version, despite intercultural differences, and demonstrated its superior sensitivity to changes in function compared with the Functional Independence Measure. SCIM can be used in patients with SCL for ability assessment, as a compact guide for determining certain treatment goals, and for outcome assessment following interventions designed to promote recovery.
Key words: ability rating scales, burden of care, clinical trials, functional assessment, goal determination, Rasch analysis, rehabilitation, reliability, SCIM, scoring techniques, validity.

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