Motor scores on the functional independence measure after pediatric spinal cord injury

D. D. Allen, M. J. Mulcahey, S. M. Haley, M. J. DeVivo, L. C. Vogel, Craig M McDonald, T. Duffy, R. R. Betz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Study design: Retrospective descriptive analysis. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to report the functional ability of children with spinal cord injury (SCI) as recorded on motor items of the functional independence measure (FIM) and to examine the factors associated with FIM motor admission and post-discharge gain scores. Methods: Scores on FIM motor items were analyzed from 941 children (age range: 0-21 years; mean: 13 years 4 months; s.d.: 4 years 8 months) admitted in acute-to-chronic time periods post-SCI to Shriners Hospitals for Children (USA). FIM motor scores at admission and gains at discharge were examined along with neurological level, completeness of injury, age, etiology of injury, and length of time between injury and admission and admission and discharge. Results: The FIM motor scores at admission were negatively correlated with age, neurological level and completeness of injury. Gain in FIM motor scores was significant across neurological levels, and was associated with lower admission FIM motor scores, lower neurological level, incomplete injury, traumatic injury and less time between injury and admission. Conclusions: The motor function of children after pediatric SCI depends on neurological level and completeness of injury, among other factors. FIM motor scores can improve with intervention even several years after the injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional independence measure
  • Motor assessment
  • Pediatric
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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