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Classification of upper-limb dysfunction severity and prediction of independence in activities of daily living after cervical spinal-cord injury

Abstract

Study design

Prospective observational study.

Objectives

Classification of spinal-cord injury and prediction of independence in activities of daily living (ADL) based on performance evaluations such as upper-limb function have not been reported. Therefore, this study aimed to establish a severity classification and calculate cutoff values for independence in ADL using the Capabilities of Upper Extremity Test (CUE-T) for individuals with cervical spinal-cord injury (CSCI).

Setting

A spinal-cord injury rehabilitation center in Japan.

Methods

This study included individuals with subacute CSCI. Collected data included the CUE-T and Spinal Cord Independence Measure III (SCIM III) scores. The severity classification was used for the hierarchical cluster analysis using the CUE-T. The cutoff values of CUE-T scores for independence in ADL were calculated using an adjustment model with logistic regression analysis. The dependent variable was binary (independent/non-independent) for each SCIM III Self-care item, and the independent variable was CUE-T.

Results

A total of 71 participants were included in the analysis. The severity of upper-limb dysfunction was classified into four categories using CUE-T. Significant differences in upper-limb function and ADL were observed between clusters. The cutoff values for CUE-T score for independence in ADL ranged from 37 to 91 points. All cutoff values showed good results in the internal validation, sensitivity analysis.

Conclusions

This study determined the severity of upper limb function in CSCI and the cutoff values of CUE-T scores for independence in ADL. These results may help set criteria and goals for interventions in the clinical and research fields.

Sponsorship

None.

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Fig. 1: Characteristics of the individual subtests of the four severity classifications.
Fig. 2: Diagram combining severity classification and cutoff values.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available because participants in this study did not consent to sharing their data publicly, but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Chiba Rehabilitation Center for their help with data collection and other activities. We are grateful to Editage (www.editage.com) for their English language editing.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors were involved in the research design and preparation of this manuscript. Kazumasa Jimbo, Kousuke Takahama, Tomohiro Yoshimura, Honoka Shiba, Taichi Yasumori, and Naohisa Kikuchi were strongly involved in data collection at the Chiba Rehabilitation Center and in creating the data collection manual. Kazumasa Jimbo, Kazuhiro Miyata, Hiroshi Yuine, and Hideki Shiraishi were strongly involved in the post-collection data analysis.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kazumasa Jimbo.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the ethical review committees of the Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences (approval number 1036) and Chiba Rehabilitation Center (approval number, medical 4-6) based on the Declaration of Helsinki. Participants were informed about the study in writing and were provided with an opt-out option. We certify that all applicable institutional and government regulations concerning the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during the course of this research.

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Jimbo, K., Miyata, K., Yuine, H. et al. Classification of upper-limb dysfunction severity and prediction of independence in activities of daily living after cervical spinal-cord injury. Spinal Cord (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41393-024-01005-5

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