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Rehabilitation Measures Database

Spinal Cord Injury - Quality of Life Independence

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The SCI-QOL Independence instrument assesses perceptions of personal independence, ability to communicate needs with others, and a sense of control over one's life in individuals with spinal cord injury.

Link to Instrument

Instrument Details

Acronym SCI-QOL Independence

Area of Assessment

Quality of Life

Assessment Type

Patient Reported Outcomes

Administration Mode




Cost Description

Paper copies of short forms are available. PDFs can be requested through emails to and

Electronic versions can be found in the NIH Toolbox or the PROMIS app. Either app is $500/yr, and covers up to 10 iPads on a single license. The SCI-QOL and TBI-QOL CATs can be administered directly through these apps. It is important to note that using the app requires you to be physically with the participant or read the questions aloud by interview over the phone - there is no way to send a link to have someone complete the measures at home.

Free electronic versions are available. If your institution has REDCap, the CATs and short forms can be accessed through the REDCap instrument library by searching for the specific measure you want and adding them to your REDCap project. For non-REDCap alternatives, the SCI-QOL and TBI-QOL short forms can be imported into an alternative electronic administration platform such as Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, etc. Email or to request PDF versions.


  • Spinal Cord Injury


Key Descriptions

  • The SCI-QOL Independence measure is an item response theory (IRT)-calibrated item bank with 8 items that is available for administration as a computer adaptive test or 8 item short form (SF). All items generated for the SCI-QOL Independence measure are new, and do not share overlap with the PROMIS or Neuro-QOL measurement systems.

Number of Items


Equipment Required

  • The short form requires the form and a pencil. A CAT administration requires a computer with internet connection.
  • Access to the CATs through Assessment Center, is available through

Time to Administer

Less than 5 minutes

Required Training

Reading an Article/Manual

Age Ranges


18 - 64


Elderly Adults

65 +


Instrument Reviewers

Review completed by Kelsey Stipp, MS and Kristian Nitsch, MS.

ICF Domain


Measurement Domain

General Health


Do you see an error or have a suggestion for this instrument summary? Please e-mail us!

Spinal Injuries

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Normative Data

Traumatic spinal cord injury. The normative data are calibrated on adults with traumatic spinal cord injury so the mean score (T = 50) indicates a score that is normal for an adult with a traumatic SCI. Deviations from the mean indicate deviations from what is normal for an individual with a traumatic SCI. For example, a respondent with a score of T=60 reported more attributes of resilience than +1 standard deviation (84%) of individuals with traumatic SCI.

Test/Retest Reliability

Traumatic SCI: (Kisala et al., 2015)

  • Excellent: ICC= 0.84
  • Excellent: Pearson's r= 0.84

Internal Consistency

Traumatic SCI: (Kisala et al., 2015)

  • Excellent: Cronbach's Alpha= 0.89

Content Validity

Items were derived from focus groups and interviews with individuals with traumatic SCI (n=65) and clinicians who specialize in SCI (n=42).

Face Validity

Not statistically assessed, but content was generated from individuals with SCI and expert clinicians; therefore face validity is believed to be strong.  


Tulsky et al., (2015). Overview of the Spinal-Cord Injury - Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) Measurement System. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 38(3), 257-269.

Tulsky et al., (2015). Methodology for the Development and Calibration of the SCI-QOL item banks. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 38(3), 270-287.