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J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30(5):491-6.

Pilot evaluation of functional questionnaire for predicting ability of patients with tetraplegia to self-catheterize after continent diversion.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3705 Terrance Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Spinal Cord Med. 2008;31(1):26.



Creation of a continent catheterizable stoma has dramatically improved the ability of the patient with spinal cord injury to perform clean intermittent catheterization (CIC). However, not all patients are good candidates for this procedure. To aid in patient evaluation, we propose the use of a functional questionnaire to predict a candidate's ability to negotiate a continent catheterizable stoma.


A published functional questionnaire was adapted to assess the self-perceived ability to perform upper extremity tasks similar to those involved in the manipulation of catheter. Tetraplegic patients who had undergone creation of a content catheterizable stoma were given the questionnaire and asked to describe demographics, method of catheterization, motivational factors, and satisfaction with the procedure.


Subjects varied in age (23-36 years) and level of impairment (C4-C6). Functional scores correlated with level of injury. Of the 4 women and 1 man who responded, only 2 were able to self-catheterize before diversion. Their catheterization times decreased significantly after creation of a continent stoma. Two patients unable to perform CIC preoperatively were able to perform CIC postoperatively. The patient with the lowest score was unable to perform CIC preoperatively or postoperatively. All were satisfied with outcome after diversion.


In our small cohort, a low functional score was associated with inability to perform CIC after continent diversion. Administration of this questionnaire to a larger spinal cord injury population should aid in selecting appropriate candidates for the creation of a continent catheterizable stoma.

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