Study design: Survey of expert opinion, feedback, and development of final consensus.
Objective: Present the background, purpose, development process, and results for the International Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Core Data Set.
Methods: A committee of experts was established to select and define data elements to be included in an International SCI Core Data Set. A draft core data set was developed and disseminated to appropriate organisations for comment. All suggested revisions were considered, and a final version of the core data set was disseminated again for approval and adoption.
Results: The core data set consists of 24 variables, including basic demographic characteristics, dates of admission and discharge from initial acute and rehabilitation care, cause of injury, place of discharge, presence of vertebral fractures and associated injuries, occurrence of spinal surgery, and measures of neurological and ventilator status.
Conclusion: Collection of the core data set should be a basic ingredient of all future studies of SCI to facilitate accurate description of patient populations and comparison of results across published studies from around the world.