Consumer preference in ranking walking function utilizing the walking index for spinal cord injury II

M. Patrick, P. Ditunno, J. F. Ditunno, R. J. Marino, G. Scivoletto, T. Lam, J. Loffree, F. Tamburella, B. Leiby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design:Blinded rank ordering.Objective:To determine consumer preference in walking function utilizing the walkingIndex for spinal cord injury II (WISCI II) in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI)from the Canada, the Italy and the United States of America.Method:In all, 42 consumers with incomplete SCI (25 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar) from Canada (12/42), Italy (14/42) and the United States of America (16/42) ranked the 20 levels of the WISCI II scale by their individual preference for walking. Subjects were blinded to the original ranking of the WISCI II scale by clinical scientists. Photographs of each WISCI II level used in a previous pilot study were randomly shuffled and rank ordered. Percentile, conjoint/cluster and graphic analyses were performed.Results:All three analyses illustrated consumer ranking followed a bimodal distribution. Ranking for two levels with physical assistance and two levels with a walker were bimodal with a difference of five to six ranks between consumer subgroups (quartile analysis). The larger cluster (N20) showed preference for walking with assistance over the smaller cluster (N=12), whose preference was walking without assistance and more devices. In all, 64% (27/42) of consumers ranked WISCI II level with no devices or braces and 1 person assistance higher than multiple levels of the WISCI II requiring no assistance. These results were unexpected, as the hypothesis was that consumers would rank independent walking higher than walking with assistance.Conclusion:Consumer preference for walking function should be considered in addition to objective measures in designing SCI trials that use significant improvement in walking function as an outcome measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1172
Number of pages9
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • consumer preference
  • minimal clinically important difference
  • spinal cord injury
  • walking function after SCI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Consumer preference in ranking walking function utilizing the walking index for spinal cord injury II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this