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Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the Capabilities of Upper Extremities Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury

      Improving upper extremity (UE) function is a high priority for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).1 Currently, there is a lack of standardized measures to capture UE function specific to individuals with SCI.2 The Capabilities of Upper Extremities (CUE) is an SCI-specific, patient-reported outcome measure examining UE functions in individuals with tetraplegia.3 It is a 32-item questionnaire assessing self-perceived difficulty in performing specific tasks including reaching and lifting, pushing and pulling, and wrist, hand, and finger actions. A total score of between 32 and 224 points is available, with higher scores indicating higher levels of UE function. Fifteen of the items assess unilateral hand and arm function separately for the left and right, and 2 items assess bilateral arm and hand function.3 Excellent homogeneity, test-retest reliability, validity, and minimal detectable change have been established for people with chronic tetraplegia (>1y postinjury).3-5 Further psychometric testing is needed to determine its use in individuals with acute SCI. The CUE has been used in intervention studies looking at UE function in individuals with tetraplegia.6 It is being used to create the CUE-T, a performance-based hand function test that, with preliminary testing, has shown strong psychometric properties.7
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