Article| Volume 85, ISSUE 3, P399-404, March 2004

A new instrument for outcome assessment in rehabilitation medicine: spinal cord injury ability realization measurement index 1


      Catz A, Greenberg E, Itzkovich M, Bluvshtein V, Ronen J, Gelernter I. A new instrument for outcome assessment in rehabilitation medicine: Spinal Cord Injury Ability Realization Measurement Index. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:399–404.


      To introduce a new measure of disability weighted for the neurologic deficit in patients with spinal cord lesions and to examine the effect on the instrument of being in rehabilitation.


      Development of instrument and preliminary comparative before-after study.


      Spinal department in a rehabilitation hospital in Israel.


      Seventy-nine patients with spinal cord lesions.


      Patients were repeatedly assessed during rehabilitation with the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) to measure neurologic motor impairment and with the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM-II) to measure disability. Scores of the 2 assessments were combined to create the Spinal Cord Injury Ability Realization Measurement Index (SCI-ARMI).

      Main outcome measures

      A preliminary formula for the calculation of SCI-ARMI using the individual patients’ SCIM-II and AIS motor scores and changes in SCI-ARMI values through rehabilitation.


      The highest observed SCIM-II scores at patients’ AIS level correlated highly with the AIS motor scores (r=.96, P<.01). A regression performed for this linear relationship resulted in a preliminary SCI-ARMI formula. The calculated SCI-ARMI values improved during rehabilitation irrespective of patient age, gender, lesion level, or lesion severity (P<.001).


      The preliminary version of the SCI-ARMI can be used to assess quantitatively changes in functional ability, isolating them from the effect of neurologic changes.


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