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Open Access Toward Standardized Reporting for a Cohort Study on Functioning: The Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study

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Objective: Functioning is an important outcome to measure in cohort studies. Clear and operational outcomes are needed to judge the quality of a cohort study. This paper outlines guiding principles for reporting functioning in cohort studies and addresses some outstanding issues.

Design: Principles of how to standardize reporting of data from a cohort study on functioning, by deriving scores that are most useful for further statistical analysis and reporting, are outlined. The Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study Community Survey serves as a case in point to provide a practical application of these principles.

Methods and Results: Development of reporting scores must be conceptually coherent and metrically sound. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can serve as the frame of reference for this, with its categories serving as reference units for reporting. To derive a score for further statistical analysis and reporting, items measuring a single latent trait must be invariant across groups. The Rasch measurement model is well suited to test these assumptions.

Conclusion: Our approach is a valuable guide for researchers and clinicians, as it fosters comparability of data, strengthens the comprehensiveness of scope, and provides invariant, interval-scaled data for further statistical analyses of functioning.

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Keywords: COMPARABILITY; EPIDEMIOLOGY; HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEMS; INFORMED DECISION-MAKING; RASCH ANALYSIS

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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