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Spinal Cord Injury

SCI: Major Recommendations (2009)

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guideline

Recommendations are categorized in terms of either conditional or imperative statements. While conditional statements clearly define a specific situation, imperative statements are broadly applicable to the target population and do not impose restraints on their application.

Conditional recommendations are presented in an if/then format, such that:


Fulfillment of the condition triggers one or more guideline-specified actions. In contrast, imperative recommendations include terms such as “require, ” “must, ” and “should, ” and do not contain conditional text that would limit their applicability to specified circumstances.

Resources Available with Each Recommendation

In addition to the recommendation statement and strength rating, you will find on each recommendation page:

  • A brief narrative summary of the evidence analyzed to reach the recommendation
  • A statement of justification, or reason for the strength of the recommendation
  • Detailed information on the evidence supporting the recommendations and background narrative (available in the Supporting Evidence section toward the bottom of each recommendation page)
  • A reference list at the end of each recommendation page that includes all the sources used in the evidence analysis for the particular recommendation (each reference is hyperlinked to a summary of the article analyzed in the evidence analysis).

Below, you will find a list of Spinal Cord Injury recommendations, organized by topic. Also view the Executive Summary of Recommendations or print the guideline material in PDF format.

SCI: Role of the Registered Dietitian 

SCI: Nutrition Screening for Persons with SCI Living in the Community

  • Nutrition screening for lipid abnormalities.


SCI: Nutrition Assessment in Acute Care, Rehabilitation and Community Settings

  • Nutrition assessment in the acute care setting
  • Nutrition assessment in the rehabilitation setting
  • Nutrition assessment in the community setting.

SCI: Nutrition Assessment of Lipid Abnormalities

SCI: Assessment of Physical Activity and Energy Needs

SCI: Assessment for Prevention of Pressure Ulcers 

  • Pressure Ulcers: Prevention 
  • Assessment of Biochemical Parameters Associated with Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
  • Assessment of Anthropometric, Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors associated with Prevention of Pressure Ulcers 

SCI: Nutrition Assessment of Body Composition

  • Assessment of body composition: Estimation of ideal body weight
  • Assessment of body composition: BMI and skinfold measurements
  • Assessment of body composition: BIA and DEXA.

SCI: Nutrition Assessment for Prevention and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity 

SCI: Assessment of Energy Needs in Acute and Rehabilitation Phases

  • Assessment of energy needs in the acute phase
  • Assessment of energy needs in the acute phase using predictive equations
  • Assessment of energy needs in the rehabilitation phase.

SCI: Assessment of Protein Needs

  • Assessment of protein needs in the acute phase
  • Assessment of protein needs in the rehabilitation and community-living phases. 

SCI: Assessment of Nutrition Needs for Pressure Ulcers in SCI

  • Assessment: Energy needs for persons with spinal cord injury with pressure ulcers
  • Assessment: Protein needs for persons with spinal cord injury with pressure ulcers
  • Assessment: Fluid needs for persons with spinal cord injury with pressure ulcers
  • Assessment: Micronutrient needs for persons with SCI with pressure ulcers.


SCI: Fluid and Neurogenic Bowel

SCI: Fiber and Neurogenic Bowel

SCI: Nutrition Intervention for Prevention and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity

SCI: Nutrition Intervention to Prevent Development of Pressure Ulcers

SCI: Nutrition Prescription for SCI Persons with Pressure Ulcers

SCI: Cranberry Juice 

SCI: Cranberry Supplements

SCI: Nutrition Intervention for Lipid Abnormalities

  • Nutrition education and counseling for lipid abnormalities.

SCI: Coordination of Care in Spinal Cord Injury

SCI: Physical Activity and Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries

  • SCI: Nutrition education regarding physical activity
  • SCI: Nutrition education regarding physical activity in overweight and obese persons with SCI.

Monitoring and Evaluation

SCI: Monitoring and Evaluation in the Acute Care Setting

SCI: Monitoring and Evaluation of Protein Intake in Acute Care Setting - Overfeeding

SCI: Monitoring Energy Needs in the Rehabilitation Phase

SCI: Nutrition Monitoring: Fiber and Neurogenic Bowel