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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 Jan;98(1):14-19. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001006.

Relationships Between Specific Functional Abilities and Health-Related Quality of Life in Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury.

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From the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (JG, AR-D, CT, J-MM-T); Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (JG, J-MM-T); and Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, Montréal, Quebec, Canada (J-MM-T).



The objective of this study was to explore the relationships between specific functional abilities assessed from the third version of the Spinal Cord Injury Measure and health-related quality of life after a traumatic spinal cord injury.


A prospective cohort of 195 patients who had sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury from C1 to L1 and consecutively admitted to a single level 1 spinal cord injury-specialized trauma center between April 2010 and September 2016 was studied. Correlation coefficients were calculated between Spinal Cord Injury Measure scores and Short Form 36 version 2 summary scores (physical component score; mental component score).


The total Spinal Cord Injury Measure score correlated moderately with the physical component score in the entire cohort, correlated strongly with physical component score in tetraplegics, did not correlate with physical component score in paraplegics, and did not correlate with mental component score. Mobility subgroup and individual items scores showed the strongest correlations with the physical component score in the entire cohort, followed by self-care and sphincter management.


This work is significant being the first to determine which specific functional abilities are mostly related to health-related quality of life and highlights the differences between tetraplegic and paraplegic patients. Our findings could help clinicians to guide rehabilitation plan based on importance of specific functional abilities in relationship with the health-related quality of life.

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