Evaluation of the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II (WISCI-II) in children with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

C. Calhoun Thielen, C. Sadowsky, L. C. Vogel, H. Taylor, L. Davidson, J. Bultman, J. Gaughan, M. J. Mulcahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design: Mixed methods were used in this study. The appropriateness of the levels of the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II (WISCI-II) for application in children was critically reviewed by physical therapists using the Modified Delphi Technique, and the interand intra-rater reliability of the WISCI-II in children was evaluated. Objectives: To examine the construct validity, and to establish reliability of the WISCI-II related to its use in children with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: United States of America. Methods: Using a Modified Delphi Technique, physical therapists critically reviewed the WISCI-II levels for pediatric utilization. Concurrently, ambulatory children under age 18 years with SCI were evaluated using the WISCI-II on two occasions by the same therapist to establish intra-rater reliability. One trial was photographed and de-identified. Each photograph was reviewed by four different physical therapists who gave WISCI-II scores to establish inter-rater reliability. Summary and descriptive statistics were used to calculate the frequency of yes/no responses for each WISCI-II level question and to determine the percent agreement for each question. Inter- and intra-rater reliability was calculated using interclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Construct validity was confirmed after one Delphi round during which at least 80% agreement was established by 51 physical therapists on the appropriateness of the WISCI-II levels for children. Fifty-two children with SCI aged 2-17 years completed repeated WISCI-II assessments and 40 de-identified photographs were scored by four physical therapists. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was high (ICC=0.997, CI=0.995-0.998 and ICC=0.97, CI=0.95-0.98, respectively). Conclusion: This study demonstrates support for the use of the WISCI-II in ambulatory children with SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-482
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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