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Relationships Between Specific Functional Abilities and Health-Related Quality of Life in Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Goulet, Julien, MD; Richard-Denis, Andréane, MD, MSc; Thompson, Cynthia, PhD; Mac-Thiong, Jean-Marc, MD, PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: January 2019 - Volume 98 - Issue 1 - p 14–19
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001006
Original Research Articles

Objective The objective of this study was to explore the relationships between specific functional abilities assessed from the third version of the Spinal Cord Injury Measure and health-related quality of life after a traumatic spinal cord injury.

Design A prospective cohort of 195 patients who had sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury from C1 to L1 and consecutively admitted to a single level 1 spinal cord injury–specialized trauma center between April 2010 and September 2016 was studied. Correlation coefficients were calculated between Spinal Cord Injury Measure scores and Short Form 36 version 2 summary scores (physical component score; mental component score).

Results The total Spinal Cord Injury Measure score correlated moderately with the physical component score in the entire cohort, correlated strongly with physical component score in tetraplegics, did not correlate with physical component score in paraplegics, and did not correlate with mental component score. Mobility subgroup and individual items scores showed the strongest correlations with the physical component score in the entire cohort, followed by self-care and sphincter management.

Conclusions This work is significant being the first to determine which specific functional abilities are mostly related to health-related quality of life and highlights the differences between tetraplegic and paraplegic patients. Our findings could help clinicians to guide rehabilitation plan based on importance of specific functional abilities in relationship with the health-related quality of life.

From the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (JG, AR-D, CT, J-MM-T); Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (JG, J-MM-T); and Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, Montréal, Quebec, Canada (J-MM-T).

All correspondence should be addressed to: Jean-Marc Mac-Thiong, MD, PhD, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Department of Surgery, 5400 Blvd Gouin Ouest, Montreal, Québec, Canada H4J 1C5.

This study was supported by Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé/Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry Program/USAMRMC, USA Medical Research and Material Command, Dep. of Defense (Grant Number GRANT11235843).

Julien Goulet is in training.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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