Study design: Review by the spinal cord outcomes partnership endeavor (SCOPE), which is a broad-based international consortium of scientists and clinical researchers representing academic institutions, industry, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and foundations.
Objectives: Assessment of current and evolving tools for evaluating human spinal cord injury (SCI) outcomes for both clinical diagnosis and clinical research studies.
Methods: a framework for the appraisal of evidence of metric properties was used to examine outcome tools or tests for accuracy, sensitivity, reliability and validity for human SCI.
Results: Imaging, neurological, functional, autonomic, sexual health, bladder/bowel, pain and psychosocial tools were evaluated. Several specific tools for human SCI studies have or are being developed to allow the more accurate determination for a clinically meaningful benefit (improvement in functional outcome or quality of life) being achieved as a result of a therapeutic intervention.
Conclusion: Significant progress has been made, but further validation studies are required to identify the most appropriate tools for specific targets in a human SCI study or clinical trial.