Sensitivity of the SCI-FI/AT in Individuals With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Tamra Keeney, Mary Slavin, Pamela Kisala, Pengsheng Ni, Allen W. Heinemann, Susan Charlifue, Denise C. Fyffe, Ralph J. Marino, Leslie R. Morse, Lynn A. Worobey, Denise Tate, David Rosenblum, Ross Zafonte, David Tulsky, Alan M. Jette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the ability of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index/Assistive Technology (SCI-FI/AT) measure to detect change in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: Multisite longitudinal (12-mo follow-up) study. Setting: Nine SCI Model Systems programs. Participants: Adults (N=165) with SCI enrolled in the SCI Model Systems database. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: SCI-FI/AT computerized adaptive test (CAT) (Basic Mobility, Self-Care, Fine Motor Function, Wheelchair Mobility, and/or Ambulation domains) completed at discharge from rehabilitation and 12 months after SCI. For each domain, effect size estimates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for subgroups with paraplegia and tetraplegia. Results: The demographic characteristics of the sample were as follows: 46% (n=76) individuals with paraplegia, 76% (n=125) male participants, 57% (n=94) used a manual wheelchair, 38% (n=63) used a power wheelchair, 30% (n=50) were ambulatory. For individuals with paraplegia, the Basic Mobility, Self-Care, and Ambulation domains of the SCI-FI/AT detected a significantly large amount of change; in contrast, the Fine Motor Function and Wheelchair Mobility domains detected only a small amount of change. For those with tetraplegia, the Basic Mobility, Fine Motor Function, and Self-Care domains detected a small amount of change whereas the Ambulation item domain detected a medium amount of change. The Wheelchair Mobility domain for people with tetraplegia was the only SCI-FI/AT domain that did not detect significant change. Conclusions: SCI-FI/AT CAT item banks detected an increase in function from discharge to 12 months after SCI. The effect size estimates for the SCI-FI/AT CAT vary by domain and level of lesion. Findings support the use of the SCI-FI/AT CAT in the population with SCI and highlight the importance of multidimensional functional measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1783-1788
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by grants funding the Spinal Cord Injury Model System (grant nos. 90SI5015-01-00, 90SI5026, 90SI5012, 90SI5009, 90S15014, 90S15000, and 90S15021-01-00), sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and by a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I Scholarship from the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


  • health care
  • Outcome assessment
  • Psychometrics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


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