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Open Access Metric Properties of the Spinal Cord Independence Measure – Self Report in a Community Survey

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Objective: The Spinal Cord Independence Measure – Self Report (SCIM-SR) is a self-report instrument for assessing functional independence of persons with spinal cord injury. This study examined the internal construct validity and reliability of the SCIM-SR, when administered in a community survey, using the Rasch measurement model.

Methods: Rasch analysis of data from 1,549 individuals with spinal cord injury who completed the SCIM-SR.

Results: In the initial analysis no fit to the Rasch model was achieved. Items were grouped into testlets to accommodate the substantial local dependency. Due to the differential item functioning for lesion level and degree, spinal cord injury-specific sub-group analyses were conducted. Fit to the Rasch model was then achieved for individuals with tetraplegia and complete paraplegia, but not for those with incomplete paraplegia. Comparability of ability estimates across sub-groups was attained by anchoring all sub-groups on a testlet.

Conclusion: The SCIM-SR violates certain assumptions of the Rasch measurement model, as shown by the local dependency and differential item functioning. However, an intermediate solution to achieve fit in 3 out of 4 spinal cord injury sub-groups was found. For the time being, therefore, it advisable to use this approach to compute Rasch-transformed SCIM-SR scores.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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