SCIM III is reliable and valid in a separate analysis for traumatic spinal cord lesions

V. Bluvshtein, L. Front, M. Itzkovich, E. Aidinoff, I. Gelernter, J. Hart, F. Biering-Soerensen, C. Weeks, M. T. Laramee, C. Craven, S. L. Hitzig, E. Glaser, G. Zeilig, S. Aito, G. Scivoletto, M. Mecci, R. J. Chadwick, W. S.E. Masry, A. Osman, C. A. GlassP. Silva, B. M. Soni, B. P. Gardner, G. Savic, E. M. Bergström, A. Catz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design:A multi-center international cohort study.Objective:To evaluate the reliability and validity of the third version of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM III), separately for patients with traumatic spinal cord lesions (SCLs).Setting:A total of 13 spinal cord units in six countries from North America, Europe and the Middle-East.Methods:SCIM III and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) were assessed for 261 patients with traumatic SCLs, on admission to rehabilitation and before discharge, by two raters. Conventional statistical measures were used to evaluate the SCIM III reliability and validity.Results:In almost all SCIM III tasks, the total agreement between the paired raters was >80%. The κ coefficients were all >0.6 and statistically significant. Pearson's coefficients of the correlations between the paired raters were >0.9, the mean differences between raters were nonsignificant and the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were ≥0.95. Cronbach's α values for the entire SCIM III scale were 0.833-0.835. FIM and SCIM III total scores were correlated (r=0.84, P0.001). SCIM III was more responsive to changes than FIM. In all subscales, SCIM III identified more changes in function than FIM, and in 3 of the 4 subscales, differences in responsiveness were statistically significant (P<0.02).Conclusion:The results confirm the reliability and validity of SCIM III for patients with traumatic SCLs in a number of countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-296
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • disability assessment
  • reliability
  • traumatic spinal cord lesions
  • validity


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