Self-scoring templates for motor and cognitive subscales of the FIM instrument for persons with spinal cord injury

Rita K. Bode, Allen W. Heinemann*, Allan J. Kozlowski, Christopher R. Pretz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective To provide self-scoring templates for the FIM instrument's motor and cognitive scales that enable clinicians to monitor progress during rehabilitation using equal-interval Rasch-calibrated measures instead of ordinal raw scores. Design Secondary analysis of a prospective, observational cohort study. Setting Six geographically dispersed hospital-based rehabilitation centers in the United States. Participants Subset of consecutively enrolled individuals with new traumatic spinal cord injuries discharged from participating rehabilitation centers (N=1146). Intervention Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Subscores of the FIM instrument, including a 13-item motor scale, a 5-item cognitive scale, an 11-item (without sphincter control items) motor scale, a 3-item transfer scale, a 6-item self-care scale, a 3-item self-care upper extremity scale, and a 3-item self-care lower extremity scale. Results KeyForms for the FIM instrument scales allow clinicians and investigators to estimate patients' functional status and monitor progress. In cases with no missing data, the look-up tables provide more accurate estimates of patients' functional status. Conclusion Clinicians can use KeyForms and look-up tables for FIM instrument subscales to monitor patients' progress and communicate improvement in equal-interval units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-679.e5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Activities of daily living
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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