Are Body Composition, Strength, and Functional Independence Similarities Between Spinal Cord Injury Classifications? A Discriminant Analysis

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: There seems to be no consensus on which aspects better distinguish the different levels of spinal cord injury regarding body composition, strength, and functional independence. Objective: The study aimed to determine which variables better differentiate tetraplegia (TP) from paraplegia and high paraplegia (HP) from low paraplegia (LP). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Rehabilitation hospital network. Patients: Forty-five men with spinal cord injury, n = 15 for each level (TP, HP, and LP) causing complete motor impairment (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale: A or B) were enrolled in the study. Main Outcome Measures: The 1-maximum repetition test, functional independence measure, spinal cord independence measure, and body composition (skinfold sum, body fat percentage, and body mass index) were assessed. Discriminant analysis was carried out using the Wilks lambda method to identify which strength and functional variables can significantly discriminate subjects for injury classification (TP, HP, and LP). Results: The discriminant variable for TP versus HP was body mass index and for TP versus LP was 1-maximum repetition (P ≤ .05). There were no variables that discriminated HP versus LP. Conclusions: The discriminant variables for TP versus HP and TP versus LP were body mass index and 1-maximum repetition, respectively. The results showed that HP and LP are similar for strength and functional variables.

Gomes Costa and Ribeiro Neto are with Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, Sarah Rehabilitation Hospital Network, Brasília, Brazil. Carregaro is with the School of Physical Therapy, Campus UnB Ceilândia, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasília, Brazil.

Gomes Costa (rodrigorodrigues1@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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