Reliability and validity of the international standards for neurological classification of spinal cord injury in patients with non-traumatic spinal cord lesions

Emanuela Lena, Ilaria Baroncini, Chiara Pavese, Gaia Musumeci, Silvia Volini, Marcella Masciullo, Beatrice Aiachini, Gabriella Fizzotti, Mariangela V. Puci, Giorgio Scivoletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Study design: Prospective, observational study. Objectives: The International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) represent the gold standard for the assessment of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their measurement properties have been evaluated in patients with traumatic lesions. Albeit the ISNCSCI are widely used also for the assessment and prognosis of patients with non-traumatic SCI, a validation of this grading system in this sample has never been performed. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the measurement properties of the ISNCSCI in a population of persons with non-traumatic SCI. Setting: Three Italian rehabilitation hospitals. Methods: The sample included 140 patients with non-traumatic SCI of different etiology, level and grade, for a total of 169 evaluations performed by two examiners. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to evaluate the internal consistency of the ISNCSCI various components. The agreement between two examiners of each center in the definition of different components was used to assess the inter-rater reliability. The construct validity was evaluated through the correlation of the ISNCSCI with the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM). Results: The ISNCSCI showed substantial internal consistency, and substantial inter-rater agreement for AIS grade, cumulative motor and sensory scores. The motor scores for upper and lower extremity showed fair to moderate correlation with SCIM self-care and motility subscores, respectively. The ISNCSCI total motor score correlated with the total SCIM score. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that the ISNCSCI are a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of patients with non-traumatic SCI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpinal Cord
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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