Objectives: The objective of this study was to provide guidelines for reporting results using the International Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Core Data Set.
Methods: A committee was created on request of the chair of the Executive Committee for the International SCI Data Set committees. The committee developed a draft consisting of set of recommendations, which were then reviewed and approved by the entire Executive Committee.
Results: Age at injury is recommended as reported by the mean, s.d., median and range. When grouped, 15-year increments are recommended as follows: 0-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60, 61-75 and 76+ years. For pediatric SCI, 0-5, 6-12, 13-15, 16-21 years are recommended. Time since injury should be reported by mean, s.d., median and range. The following intervals are recommended: <1 year, 1-5, 6-10, 11-15 years, and 5-year increments thereafter. Calendar time (years during which the study is conducted) is recommended grouped by either 5 or 10-year increments with years ending in 4 or 9. For 'length of stay', the mean and s.d., as well as the median is recommended for report. Severity of injury is under ordinary circumstances recommended, reported in five categories: C1-4 American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade (AIS) A, B or C; C5-8 AIS A, B or C; T1-S5 AIS A, B, or C; AIS D at any injury level; and ventilator dependent at any injury level or AIS grade.
Conclusion: It is expected that these recommendations can facilitate a more uniform reporting of the very basic core data on SCI. This will facilitate comparison between different SCI studies.