[Skip to Navigation]
[Skip to Navigation Landing]
January 1987

Benefits of Rehabilitation for Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Multivariate Analysis in 711 Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University School of Medicine (Drs Yarkony, Roth, Heinemann, Wu, and Katz) and the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System, Northwestern University, Chicago (Ms Lovell).

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(1):93-96. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520130071020

• The functional outcomes of 711 patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries who were admitted to a rehabilitation hospital during an eight-year period were studied. The modified Barthel index, a 100-point scale, was used to assess ability to perform self-care and mobility skills at rehabilitation admission and discharge. There were statistically significant improvements in self-care and mobility subscores of the modified Barthel index. Mean total modified Barthel index scores increased from 13.8 at admission to 46.1 at discharge for patients with quadriplegia, and from 37.7 to 74.4 for patients with paraplegia. Functional gains made by patients with incomplete spinal lesions were greater than those made by patients with complete lesions. This study documents improvement in ability to perform self-care and mobility skills among patients with spinal cord injuries who participate in comprehensive rehabilitation.