Quality of life instruments and definitions in individuals with spinal cord injury: a systematic review

Spinal Cord. 2010 Jun;48(6):438-50. doi: 10.1038/sc.2009.164. Epub 2009 Dec 22.


Study design: A systematic review.

Objective: To critically review quality of life (QOL) instruments used with spinal cord injury (SCI) populations.

Setting: Vancouver, Canada.

Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted for publications assessing the measurement properties of QOL outcome measures. Pre-established criteria were used to evaluate the measurement properties.

Results: Fourteen articles reporting on 13 QOL instruments met the inclusion criteria, including the Patient Reported Impact of Spasticity Measure (PRISM), Quality of Well-being Scale, Qualiveen, Sickness Impact Profile (SIP68), Short Form (SF)-36, SF-36V, SF-12, SF-6D, Quality of Life Index, Quality of Life Profile for Adults with Physical Disabilities (QOLP-PD), Satisfaction with Life Scale, Sense of Well-being Index (SWBI), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF scale (WHOQOL-BREF). The SF-36 and WHOQOL-BREF have been widely used and validated. The SIP68, QOLP-PD, SF-36V, and SWBI are promising with limited investigation. The Qualiveen and PRISM performed well and are specific to SCI complications.

Conclusion: The WHOQOL-BREF is presently the most acceptable and established instrument to assess QOL after SCI. The SIP68, QOLP-PD, SF-36V, and SWBI are promising; however, require further evaluation of their measurement properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / psychology*