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Enhancement and Evaluation of the SCI-FI Instrument

Enhancement and Evaluation of the SCI-FI Instrument

PI(s): Lead - New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center Network (Boston, MA); Site - Daniel Lammertse, MD, Susan Charlifue, PhD
Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Dates: 2011-2016
Contact: Susan Charlifue ( or 303-789-8306)

Specific Aim #1: Refine and augment the SCI-FI existing item pools to capture functional performance involving the full range of AT and human assistance

The original SCI-FI ambulation, fine motor, and self care item pools primarily assess an individual’s capacity to perform tasks without assistive technology (AT), providing an important assessment of functional capacity. Under this aim we will replenish and extend the comprehensiveness of the existing item pools with new items written for relevant SCI-FI sub-domains that will capture the performance of functional tasks using AT and human assistance.

Specific Aim #2: Evaluate SCI-FI scales’ psychometric properties in comparison to the FIM

The refinement and replenishment of the SCI-FI item pools with AT oriented functional tasks is designed to maximize the SCI-FI’s clinical and research utility. In this second aim we will evaluate the degree to which this has been achieved by launching a prospective study that administers the refined SCI-FI scales to 200 newly injured adults with SCI enrolled in the SCI National Database. An experimental module consisting of the 5 SCI-FI scales will be administered to this sample at the point of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation care and 12 months later. We will compare FIM scores administered at these same two time points with SCI-FI functional scores to assess relative breadth of measurement, precision, and sensitivity to change.