Independent living: methodology for measuring long-term outcomes

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1982 Feb;63(2):68-73.


A vexing issue in disability research today is the specification and measurement of long-term outcome measures relevant to the evaluation of independent living (IL) programs and services. The purpose of this article is to present 2 long-term outcome measures that are sensitive to both the philosophy of the IL movement and the policy making needs of funding sources. The method used in the study was to examine the specific outcomes of 111 spinal cord injured persons discharged from 10 medical rehabilitation centers. These outcomes were in turn ranked and weighted by an interagency panel consisting of providers, consumers, and funding agencies. The statistical results indicate a high level of agreement among panelists as to how each outcome should be ranked and weighted. The study concludes that the ranking and weighting methodology is a workable one that can take into account the value judgements implicit in the development of long-term outcome measures for IL and medical rehabilitation programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Efficiency
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Policy Making
  • Rehabilitation / organization & administration*
  • Self Care*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation