Spinal Cord Injury Spasticity Evaluation Tool (SCI-SET)

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Tool Description

  • Assesses the impact of spasticity on daily life in people with SCI.
  • Requires participants to recall their past 7 days when rating spasticity on a scale ranging from -3 (extremely problematic) to +3 (extremely helpful).

ICF Domain:

Body Function – Subcategory: Neuromusculoskeletal & Movement-related Functions and Structures

Number of Items:


Brief Instructions for Administration & Scoring


  • Self-report questionnaire.
  • Can be administered in person or over the phone.



  • Total score (-3 to +3) is generated by summing all the responses from the applicable items then dividing the sum by the number of applicable items


MCID: not established in SCI
SEM: for SCI-SET score (calculated from data in Adams et al. 2007): 0.17
MDC: for SCI-SET score (calculated from data in Adams et al. 2007): 0.47

  • No meaningful cut points or norms have been established for the SCI population
  • Published data is available for comparison (see Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet).



Training Required:



See the how-to page of this tool.

Clinical Considerations

  • The SCI-SET can be used as a tool for medical management decisions as well as a measurement of current treatment effects.
  • Spasticity is known to be highly variable, fluctuating on a daily and even hourly basis. A seven day recall of the impact of spasticity may be overshadowed by current levels of spasticity. Repeated administration may therefore be necessary to provide a more accurate picture of the impacts spasticity has on daily life.
  • The SCI-SET was developed specifically for the SCI population.
  • The scale is easy to administer and score. Definitions of ‘spasm’ and the scale responses are clearly outlined in the instructions.

Measurement Property Summary

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 4


  • The SCI-SET was administered 3 times, 3 weeks in a row, on the same day of the week. Internal consistency of the SCI-SET is high (Cronbach’s a=0.862-0.95), as is the test-retest reliability (ICC=0.80-0.91). There is moderate to high test-retest reliability for transfer-related variables (rho=0.656-0.846)

[Adams et al. 2007, Akpinar et al. 2017, Ansari et al. 2017, Tibbett et al. 2019]


  • The SCI-SET score has high positive and negative correlations between SCI-SET scores and Self-assessment of Spasticity Impact (r = -0.61), Quality of Life Index health and functioning subscale (r = 0.68), and the Penn Spasm Frequency Scale (r = -0.66)
  • The SCI-SET score has moderate positive and negative correlations between SCI-SET scores and Self-assessment of spasticity severity (r = -0.41), self-assessment of spasticity impact (r = -0.47), Self-assessment of Spasticity Severity (r = -0.48)
  • The SCI-SET score has low correlation to the Functional Independence Measure- motor score and PFIM-cognitive subscale (p=0.13=0.21).

[Adams et al. 2007, Akpinar et al. 2017, Ansari et al. 2017]


No values were reported for the responsiveness of the SCI-SCS for the SCI population.

Floor/ceiling effect:

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


Dr. Vanessa Noonan, Matthew Querée, John Zhu, Risa Fox

Date Last Updated:

August 3, 2020

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Worksheet Document





Equipment Needed


Delparte JJ, Scovil CY, Flett HM, Higgins J, Laramée MT, Burns AS. Psychometric Properties of the Spinal Cord Injury Pressure Ulcer Scale (SCIPUS) for Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment During Inpatient Rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015;96(11):1980-5.

Salzberg C A, Byrne DW, Cayten CG, van Niewerburgh P, Murphy JG, Viehbeck M. A new pressure ulcer risk assessment scale for individuals with spinal cord injury. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1996;75:96-104.

Salzberg CA, Byrne DW, Kabir R, van Niewerburg P, Cayten CG. Predicting pressure ulcers during initial hospitalization for acute spinal cord injury. Wounds 1999;11:45-57.