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Interrater Reliability of the Pediatric Neuromuscular Recovery Scale for Spinal Cord Injury

Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

As published in American Spinal Injury Association

Background: In synergy with the mounting scientific evidence for the capacity of recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) and training, new evidence-based therapies advancing neuromuscular recovery are emerging. There is a parallel need for outcome instruments that specifically address recovery. The Pediatric Neuromuscular Recovery Scale (Pediatric NRS) is one example with established content validity to assess neuromuscular capacity within task performance.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine interrater reliability of the Pediatric NRS to classify motor capacity in children after SCI.

Methods: Pediatric physicians (3), occupational therapists (5), and physical therapists (6) received standardized training in scoring the scale, then rated video assessments of 32 children post SCI, 2–12 years of age, 78% non-ambulatory. Interrater reliability was analyzed using Kendall coefficient of concordance for individual Pediatric NRS items and overall score.

Results: The interrater reliability coefficient was determined to be near 1 for the overall Pediatric NRS score (ICC = 0.966; 95% CI, 0.89–0.98). Twelve of 16 individual items exhibited high concordance coefficients (Kendall’s W ≥ 0.8) and four items demonstrated concordance coefficients, < 0.8 and > 0.69. Interrater reliability was equivalent among groups defined by age and neurological level, but lower among non-ambulatory individuals.

Conclusion: Strong interrater reliability was demonstrated by pediatric clinicians who scored children with SCI using the Pediatric NRS.

This article was authored by:

  • Andrea L. Behrman, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • Shelley A. Trimble, PT
  • Laura C. Argetsinger, DPT, PT
  • MacKenzie T. Roberts, DPT, PT
  • MJ Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L
  • Lisa Clayton, BS
  • Mary E. Gregg, MS
  • Doug Lorenz, PhD
  • Elizabeth M. Ardolino, PhD, PT

Read the Complete Published Article in American Spinal Injury Association: Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation.

Posted in Pediatric Publication, Publications