Quadriplegia Index of Function-Short Form (QIF-SF)

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Tool Description

  • Developed to provide a sensitive global functional scale for measuring gains in individuals with tetraplegia during rehabilitation.
  • Items include: wash/dry hair, turn supine to side in bed, lower extremity dressing, open carton/jar, transfer from bed to wheelchair and lock wheelchair. These items were selected from five of the functional performance categories of self-care and mobility on the QIF in order to reduce item redundancies of the original 37-item version.

ICF Domain:

Activities and Participation – Subcategory: Self-Care

Number of Items:


Brief Instructions for Administration & Scoring


  • Clinician-administered; interview format.
  • Scored on a 5 point scale from 0 (dependent) to 4 (independent).
  • Administration time is under 5 minutes.

Equipment: None.


  • Scores from the 6 items are summed and scores range from 0 to 24.


MCID: not established in SCI
SEM: not established in SCI
MDC: not established in SCI

  • Higher scores indicate greater independence in key ADLs.
  • No cut-points or normative data for the SCI population have been established
  • Published data for the SCI population is available for comparison (see the Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet).



Training Required:

None formally required.


See the ‘How-to use’ page of this tool.

Clinical Considerations

  • The QIF – Short Form is more practical to use than the original QIF as the number of items have been reduced.
  • The QIF – Short Form is designed specifically for the quadriplegic SCI population.

Measurement Property Summary

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 2


  • Internal consistency is high for the total QIF-SF (Cronbach’s a=0.89)

[Marino & Goin 1999]


  • High correlation with Quadriplegia Index of Function (QIF):
    r = 0.987 (p=0.987)
  • High correlation with ASIA Upper Extremity Motor Score (UEMS):
    r = 0.824

(Marino & Goin 1999; N=95 (85 male), tetraplegia; mean age (SD): 32.1 (13.2); non-ambulatory @ 6 months)

  • Moderate correlation with health state related to upper-extremity impairment of subjects:
    r=0.313 (p=0.03)

(Snoek et al. 2005, N=47 tetraplegics (38M, 9F); mean age (SD): 42 (13); mean duration of injury (SD): 11 (9); 44% AIS A, 31% AIS B, 9% AIS C, 16% AIS D)


  • There is a significant difference in QIF-SF scores across the 3 measurement times (start of rehab, 3 months after start of rehab, and discharge) for groups C3-C6 and C7-T1.

[Marino & Goin 1999, Spooren et al. 2006]

Floor/ceiling effect:

No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the QIF-SF for the SCI population.


Dr. Ben Mortenson, Jeff Tan, Gita Manhas

Date Last Updated:

July 22, 2020

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Download Worksheet:

Worksheet Document




The Quadriplegia Index of Function-Short Form consists of 6 items, all scored on a scale of 0-4. The clinician observes and evaluates the patient on each item.

4 = independent
3 = independent with devices
2 = supervision
1 = physical assistance
0 = dependent

Total score (summary of item scores) is reported.

Equipment Needed


Marino RJ, Goin JE. Development of a short-form Quadriplegia Index of Function scale. Spinal Cord 1999;37:289-296.

Spooren AI, Janssen-Potten YJ, Post MW, Kerckhofs E, Nene A, Seelen HA. Measuring change in arm hand skilled performance in persons with a cervical spinal cord injury: responsiveness of the Van Lieshout Test. Spinal Cord 2006; 44: 772-779.