Measuring quality of life in individuals living with spinal cord injury – how well does the SF-6D perform?


As part of a research program that examines how generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures perform in individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI), C2E2 members recently published the results of an analysis that provides further evidence about the appropriateness of the SF-6D in this population.

The measurement of HRQoL is becoming increasingly important within the context of SCI; one of the reasons being that life expectancy for individuals living with SCI has increased due to progress in clinical and rehabilitative care. The SF-6D is an indirect generic preference-based HRQoL measure. In order to use this measure in SCI, verification of measurement properties is required, such as practicality, floor and ceiling effects, discriminative validity, and responsiveness to change.

In collaboration with the Rick Hansen Institute, the analysis used registry data at 1, 2, and 5 year follow-up from patients who were admitted to Vancouver General Hospital or GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre with a diagnosed traumatic SCI. The results demonstrate that the SF-6D is a practical measure and is able to discriminate between groups of individuals in different health states. However, the SF-6D showed weaknesses in terms of responsiveness to change, and so further longitudinal research in this area is required.

For more information, please access the full article:

C2E2 involvement:

Lidia Engel, MSc

David Whitehurst, PhD

Stirling Bryan, PhD