The reliability of a self-reported measure of disease, impairment, and function in persons with spinal cord dysfunction.
OBJECTIVE: To develop a self-report instrument that would provide information about the different levels of the disablement process, and that (1) was suitable for persons with spinal cord disease (SCD), (2) could be completed quickly, (3) could be mailed, (4) had acceptable reliability, and (5) would be clinically useful. STUDY DESIGN: Test-retest using a convenience sample. METHODS: Review of the literature and an expert panel were used to develop the instrument. It was mailed to 49,458 individuals in June 1995 and a second mailing was done in August 1995. A subset of 725 individuals who responded to both mailings was used to examine the instrument's test-retest reliability. RESULTS: The instrument has a 4th grade reading level and has questions on causal disease, disease severity, impairment, activities of daily living (including a self-reported version of the Functional Independence Measure, the SRFM), and resource utilization. Individual item test-retest reliability was high for a mailed questionnaire; all kappa coefficients were near or above .60 and most were over .70. Intraclass correlation coefficient for the SRFM was .90 and internal consistency (Chronbach's alpha) was .96. CONCLUSION: This instrument provides a new, rapid way to obtain information relative to the differing levels of the disablement process.
Hoenig, H; McIntyre, L; Sloane, R; Branch, LG; Truncali, A; Horner, RD
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