Outcome measures in spinal cord injury: Recent assessments and recommendations for future directions

M. S. Alexander, K. D. Anderson, F. Biering-Sorensen, A. R. Blight, R. Brannon, T. N. Bryce, G. Creasey, A. Catz, A. Curt, W. Donovan, J. Ditunno, P. Ellaway, N. B. Finnerup, D. E. Graves, B. A. Haynes, A. W. Heinemann, A. B. Jackson, M. V. Johnston, C. Z. Kalpakjian, N. KleitmanA. Krassioukov, K. Krogh, D. Lammertse, S. Magasi, M. J. Mulcahey, B. Schurch, A. Sherwood, J. D. Steeves, S. Stiens, D. S. Tulsky, H. J.A. Van Hedel, G. Whiteneck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Study design: Review by the spinal cord outcomes partnership endeavor (SCOPE), which is a broad-based international consortium of scientists and clinical researchers representing academic institutions, industry, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and foundations. Objectives: Assessment of current and evolving tools for evaluating human spinal cord injury (SCI) outcomes for both clinical diagnosis and clinical research studies. Methods: a framework for the appraisal of evidence of metric properties was used to examine outcome tools or tests for accuracy, sensitivity, reliability and validity for human SCI. Results: Imaging, neurological, functional, autonomic, sexual health, bladder/bowel, pain and psychosocial tools were evaluated. Several specific tools for human SCI studies have or are being developed to allow the more accurate determination for a clinically meaningful benefit (improvement in functional outcome or quality of life) being achieved as a result of a therapeutic intervention. Conclusion: Significant progress has been made, but further validation studies are required to identify the most appropriate tools for specific targets in a human SCI study or clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-591
Number of pages10
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Diagnostic tools
  • Functional assessment
  • Outcome tools
  • Quality of life and community participation
  • Spinal cord clinical trial targets
  • Upper and lower limb


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