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Disabil Rehabil. 2003 Sep 16;25(18):1065-70.

Assessment of disability in spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos, Toledo, Spain.



Spinal cord injury (SCI) implies a drastic change in the quality of life of an individual, and this fact must be considered by the physiatrist. The aim of this study was to assess the degree of disability shown by patients with spinal cord injury at 5 years post-SCI. For this purpose we used the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART) scale which included the evaluation of occupation, physical independence, mobility, social integration and economic self-sufficiency.


A questionnaire was mailed to 243 patients who were admitted over a one-year period to the Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos in Toledo, Spain. From these, we received 90 answers. No significant differences were observed when they were compared to the 90 patients who answered the questionnaire.


30% of the patients had less than 333 points on the scale, meaning that they could be considered severely disabled, while a score higher than 438 points was seen in 46.7% of the patients: most of these individuals were younger than 18 and had less severe neurologic injuries.


Despite the enormous impact of SCI, according to the scale used most patients have scores above the disability level.

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