Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index/Assistive Technology Short Forms

Published:April 28, 2016DOI:



      To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index/Assistive Technology (SCI-FI/AT) short forms (SFs) in the domains of basic mobility, self-care, fine motor function, and ambulation based on internal consistency; correlations between SFs and full item banks, and a 10-item computerized adaptive test (CAT) version; magnitude of ceiling and floor effects; and measurement precision across a broad range of function in a sample of adults with spinal cord injury (SCI).


      Cross-sectional cohort study.


      Nine national Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems programs.


      A sample of adults with traumatic SCI (N=460) stratified by level of injury (paraplegia/tetraplegia), completeness of injury, and time since SCI.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      SCI-FI/AT full item bank, 10-item CAT, and SFs (with separate Self-Care and Fine Motor Function SFs for persons with tetraplegia and paraplegia).


      The SCI-FI/AT SFs demonstrated very good internal consistency, group-level reliability, and excellent correlations between SFs and scores based on the CAT version and the total item bank. Ceiling and floor effects are acceptable (except for unacceptable ceiling effects for persons with paraplegia on the Self-Care and Fine Motor Function SFs). The test information functions are excellent across a broad range of functioning typical of persons with paraplegia and tetraplegia.


      Clinicians and researchers should consider using the SCI-FI/AT SFs to assess functioning with the use of assistive technology when CAT applications are not available.


      List of abbreviations:

      AT (assistive technology), CAT (computerized adaptive test), IRT (item response theory), SCI (spinal cord injury), SCI-FI (Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index), SCI-FI/AT (Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index/Assistive Technology), SF (short form), TIF (test information function)
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