Purpose: To examine the suitability of the revised Spinal Cord Independence Measure, the Catz-ltzkovich SCIM, for evaluation of patients with spinal cord lesions, as compared to the original SCIM and to the Functional Independence Measure (FIM).
Method: The revised SCIM was applied by paired independent teams of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses and the FIM by a single nurse. The examiners assigned scores to the functional capabilities of 28 patients with spinal cord lesions. The scores by the revised SCIM were analysed for reproducibility as between the two teams of examiners (interrater reliability) and for their correlation with the FIM scores.
Results: The frequency of identical scoring by two independent examiners (total agreement) was 80% or higher for 13/18 individual functions listed in the revised SCIM. In the self-care category it was 80-99%, as compared to 75-87% before revision. In neither bowel management nor bed mobility was there an increase over the original SCIM in the frequency of identical scores, despite rephrasing and restructuring of the scoring criteria. A high correlation was noted between the paired scores for all functions listed as well as for those comprising each of the four functional categories (r = 0.90-0.96, p <0.001). The total revised-SCIM scores were significantly correlated with those derived by the FIM (r = 0.835, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The findings indicate that the newly revised SCIM (Catz-Itzkovich) is a valid and highly reproducible measure of daily function in patients with spinal cord lesions, and is superior to the original SCIM. We recommend that it supersede the original SCIM.