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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Studies New Tool to Assess Children with Spinal Cord Injuries

A measurement tool developed specifically to assess activity outcomes in children with spinal cord injuries is an important contribution that can improve pediatric care, according to a study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

The study, led by Dr. Mary Slavin, a research assistant professor of health law, policy & management and director of education and dissemination at the BU  Health & Disability Research Institute, evaluated the use of a measurement tool called the Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Activity Measure (PEDI-SCI AM) as an alternative to using generic pediatric outcome measures. It includes activities important to youth with SCI, assessing abilities in four domains: general mobility, daily routines, wheeled mobility, and ambulation.

“The PEDI-SCI AM is the first activity-limitation measure developed specifically for youth with SCI. Initial examination of the PEDI-SCI AM demonstrated strong reliability and internal consistency,” the study says. “Given the void in robust outcome instruments for pediatric SCI, the PEDI-SCI AM is an important contribution that can elevate pediatric SCI practices.”

The research team examined PEDI-SCI AM results from a sample of 381 children and adolescents with acquired SCI at US Shriners Hospitals for Children, and 322 parents or caregivers. The measure can be administered as a computerized adaptive test (CATs) or using short forms (SFs).

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