The Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) version III: reliability and validity in a multi-center international study.
ABSTRACT To examine the third version of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM III) for reliability and validity in a multi-center cohort study.
Four hundred and twenty-five patients with spinal cord lesions from 13 spinal cord units in six countries from three continents were assessed with SCIM III and the Functional Independence measure (FIM) on admission to rehabilitation and before discharge.
Total agreement between raters was above 80% in most SCIM III tasks, and all kappa coefficients were statistically significant (P<0.001). The coefficients of Pearson correlation between the paired raters were above 0.9, and intraclass correlation coefficients were above 0.94. Cronbach's alpha was above 0.7. The coefficient of Pearson correlation between FIM and SCIM III was 0.790 (P<0.01). SCIM III was more responsive to changes than FIM in the subscales of Respiration and sphincter management and Mobility indoors and outdoors.
The results support the reliability and validity of SCIM III in a multi-cultural setup. Despite several limitations of the study, the results indicate that SCIM III is an efficient measure for functional assessment of SCL patients and can be safely used for clinical and research trials, including international multi-center studies.
Article: Reliability of movement workspace measurements in a passive arm orthosis used in spinal cord injury rehabilitation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Robotic and non-robotic training devices are increasingly being used in the rehabilitation of upper limb function in subjects with neurological disorders. As well as being used for training such devices can also provide ongoing assessments during the training sessions. Therefore, it is mandatory to understand the reliability and validity of such measurements when used in a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of movement measures as assessed in the Armeo Spring system for the eventual application to the rehabilitation of patients suffering from cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Reliability (intra- and inter-rater reliability) of the movement workspace (representing multiple ranges of movement) and the influence of varying seating conditions (5 different chair conditions) was assessed in twenty control subjects. In eight patients with cervical SCI the test-retest reliability (tested twice on the same day by the same rater) was assessed as well as a correlation of the movement workspace to retrieve self-care items as scored by the spinal cord independence measure (SCIM 3). Analysis of workspace measures in control subjects revealed intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) ranging from 0.747 to 0.837 for the intra-rater reliability and from 0.661 to 0.855 for the inter-rater reliability. Test-retest analysis in SCI patients showed a similar high reliability with ICC = 0.858. Also the reliability of the movement workspace between different seating conditions was good with ICCs ranging from 0.844 to 0.915. The movement workspace correlated significantly with the SCIM3 self-care items (p < 0.05, rho = 0.72). The upper limb movement workspace measures assessed in the Armeo Spring device revealed fair to good clinical reliability. These findings suggest that measures retrieved from such a training device can be used to monitor changes in upper limb function over time. The correlation between the workspace measures and SCIM3 self-care items indicates that such measures might also be valuable to document the progress of clinical rehabilitation, however further detailed studies are required.Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 06/2012; 9:37. · 3.26 Impact Factor
Article: Feasibility and effects of patient-cooperative robot-aided gait training applied in a 4-week pilot trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Functional training is becoming the state-of-the-art therapy approach for rehabilitation of individuals after stroke and spinal cord injury. Robot-aided treadmill training reduces personnel effort, especially when treating severely affected patients. Improving rehabilitation robots towards more patient-cooperative behavior may further increase the effects of robot-aided training. This pilot study aims at investigating the feasibility of applying patient-cooperative robot-aided gait rehabilitation to stroke and incomplete spinal cord injury during a therapy period of four weeks. Short-term effects within one training session as well as the effects of the training on walking function are evaluated. METHODS: Two individuals with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury and two with chronic stroke trained with the Lokomat gait rehabilitation robot which was operated in a new, patient-cooperative mode for a period of four weeks with four training sessions of 45 min per week. At baseline, after two and after four weeks, walking function was assessed with the ten meter walking test. Additionally, muscle activity of the major leg muscles, heart rate and the Borg scale were measured under different walking conditions including a non-cooperative position control mode to investigate the short-term effects of patient-cooperative versus non-cooperative robot-aided gait training. RESULTS: Patient-cooperative robot-aided gait training was tolerated well by all subjects and performed without difficulties. The subjects trained more actively and with more physiological muscle activity than in a non-cooperative position-control mode. One subject showed a significant and relevant increase of gait speed after the therapy, the three remaining subjects did not show significant changes. CONCLUSIONS: Patient-cooperative robot-aided gait training is feasible in clinical practice and overcomes the main points of criticism against robot-aided gait training: It enables patients to train in an active, variable and more natural way. The limited number of subjects in this pilot trial does not permit valid conclusions on the effect of patient-cooperative robot-aided gait training on walking function. A large, possibly multi-center randomized controlled clinical trial is required to shed more light on this question.Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 05/2012; 9(1):31. · 3.26 Impact Factor
Article: Outcome Measures for Acute/Subacute Cervical Sensorimotor Complete (AIS-A) Spinal Cord Injury During a Phase 2 Clinical Trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Effective treatment after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is imperative as so many activities of daily living (ADLs) are dependent on functional recovery of arm and hand actions. We focus on defining and comparing neurological and functional endpoints that might be used during acute or subacute Phase 2 clinical trials involving subjects with cervical sensorimotor complete SCI (ASIA Impairment Scale [AIS-A]). For the purposes of this review, the trial would examine the effects of a pharmaceutical small molecule, drug, biologic, or cell transplant on spinal tissue. Thus, neurological improvement is the intended consequence and is most directly measured by assessing neurological impairment (eg, motor aspects of the International Standards Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury [ISNCSCI]). However, changes in neurological function, even if statistically significant, may not be associated with a clear functional impact (ie, a meaningful improvement in individual activity, such as independent self-care ADLs). The challenge is to measure improvement as precisely as possible (change in impairment), but to define a clinically meaningful response in the context of functional improvement (impact on activity limitations). The principal comparisons focused on elements of the ISNCSCI assessment, including upper extremity motor score and motor level. Personal activity capabilities were also examined at various time points. The data suggest that an improvement of 2 or more motor levels after cervical sensorimotor complete SCI may be a clinically meaningful endpoint threshold that could be used for acute and subacute Phase 2 trials with subjects having sensorimotor complete cervical SCI.Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation 01/2012; 18(1):1-14.