• Measures sexual adjustment after SCI.
  • Designed to assess different aspects of sexuality before and after injury.
  • Has 2 domains: interest in sexuality and sexual satisfaction.

Clinical Considerations

  • The SIS provides a reasonably well-defined spinal cord specific measure that may be useful in eliciting information regarding a sensitive area.
  • Although it has not been widely used and psychometric properties have been reported by only one study, it is one of few sexuality scales that have been used within the SCI population.
  • The type of SCI needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting the results. Sexual adjustment for those with incomplete injuries may differ considerably when compared to complete injuries. Items should be acceptable to both males and females though items may seem personal and embarrassing to some.
  • The SIS was developed for use in the SCI population. It provides a quick review of the individual’s sexual experiences, while factoring in their pre-injury state.

ICF Domain

Body Function ▶ Functions of the Reproductive System


  • Self-administered then checked by personal interview.
  • Four items determine the impact SCI had on sexuality and sexual function using a 4-point response scale (increased=3, unchanged=2, decreased=1, and absent=0). The remaining 2 questions assess general satisfaction after injury and the difference between satisfaction post- and pre-injury, using a modified 7-point visual analogue scale (ranging from very dissatisfied (1) to very satisfied (7)).

Number of Items





  • Participants are asked to give answers on a scale of 0 (Non- existent/Very Dissatisfying) to 3 (Increased/Very Satisfying).
  • Two of the items are scored using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) – respondents mark their answer from 1 (Very Dissatisfying) to 7 (Very Satisfying) along a 6 cm line.
  • Total score is the sum of all items.



Training Required

No formal training required. However, knowledge of sexuality is beneficial.


Can be found here.

# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 1


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

  • Achieving a high score on the SIS illustrates greater sexual adjustment while a lower scorer demonstrates poor sexual adjustments after SCI.
  • There are no known cut points or norms for the SCI population to assist with interpretation.


Internal consistency of the SIS is high (Cronbach’s a = 0.96).

(Siosteen et al. 1990)


The SIS is high correlated with age at injury (Pearson’s r = 0.63) and Quality of Life (QL-VAS method) – Dysfunction rating (Pearson’s r = -0.61) and moderate with Total QL rating (Pearson’s r = 0.52), QL-Loss of independence (Pearson’s r = -0.49) and QL-Depression (Pearson’s r = -0.45).

(Siosteen et al. 1990)


No values were reported for the responsiveness of the SIS scale for the SCI population.

Floor/Ceiling Effect

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


Emili Procter, Matthew Querée, Joanne Chi

Date Last Updated

4 July 2019

Siosteen A, Lundqvist C, Blomstrand C, Sullivan L, Sullivan M. Sexual ability, activity, attitudes and satisfaction as part of adjustment in spinal cord-injured subjects. Paraplegia 1990;28:285-295.