Relationship between self-reported disability and caregiver hours.
OBJECTIVE: In a large, population-based cohort of patients with spinal cord dysfunction, we assessed the relationship between self-reported physical function and hours of care received. DESIGN: Data were obtained by a cross-sectional, self-administered survey used to help establish a national registry of veterans with spinal cord dysfunction. Participants were originally identified from Department of Veterans Affairs databases as having a high probability of spinal cord dysfunction. All 13,542 respondents reporting spinal cord dysfunction and also having complete data on physical function and caregiver hours (CGHs) were included. Physical function was measured using the Self-Reported Functional Measure, and CGHs were obtained from a self-report of hours of caregiving received during the last 2 wk. RESULTS: The relationship between self-reported disability and CGHs was strong (Spearman correlation = -0.70). Subjects with moderate levels of disability had the most variability in CGHs. After stratifying by total Self-Reported Functional Measure score, the strongest predictors of CGHs were instrumental activities of daily living and individual Self-Reported Functional Measure items, explaining a moderate amount of variation in CGHs. CONCLUSION: These data support the construct validity of the Self-Reported Functional Measure and suggest that self-reported disability measures can be of use in describing the clinical epidemiology of patients with spinal cord dysfunction.
Samsa, GP; Hoenig, H; Branch, LG
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