Measurement serves two primary purposes in rehabilitation; to determine the effectiveness of interventions and to ascertain the status of populations. The purpose of this short report is to present a perspective on the role of measurement in rehabilitation, using spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation examples to illuminate measurement concepts. The difference between an outcome measure and a health status measure is explained, and the various purposes of measurement are described. The disablement model of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Classification of Functioning,
Disability and Health (ICF) is presented as a framework for measurement in rehabilitation. Examples of measuring instruments for different problems related to SCI are presented to illuminate the role of the framework in measurement. It is envisaged that this short report will begin to stimulate interest and discussion among rehabilitation professionals around measurement issues, and enhance evidence based rehabilitation through the use of appropriate measurements of progress and/or status.
Keywords: Measurement, rehabilitation, ICF, outcome measures
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