The development and validation of the Functional Independent Coping Scale (FICS): Determining the effects of functional independence toward coping processes in spinal cord injury

Date of Completion

January 1997


Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Psychometrics




Much of the past research cited in this review categorizes people with SCI as having one homogeneous injury. Where the level of injury was differentiated and included as a variable, its contribution to coping or adjustment has not been clarified or understood. Chang (1995) posits that spinal cord injury is not a homogeneous physical injury with homogeneous psychological effects. Consequently, not all spinal cord injury patients are the same. This lack of physical homogeny is a consequence of the length of the spinal column and the specific ordering of the segments of the various peripheral innervations. It has been proven that the level of physical functioning is dependent upon the location and completeness of the injury along the spinal cord. Physical disability may range from as severe as loss of respiratory control with total paralysis to as minimal as muscular weakness without paralysis. The lack of psychological homogeny is directly related to the variability in physical functions in the SCI population. Injury to delicate segments of the spinal column allows for vast differences in physical functioning to be retained. Many different levels of returned physical capacities influence the development and use of different psychological processes during adjustment. ^