Graphical modelling: a tool for describing and understanding the functioning of people living with a health condition.


Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland - [Email]


Rehabilitation aims to optimize people's lived experience of health or functioning. A comprehensive understanding of people's functioning is thus fundamental for rehabilitation clinicians and scientists. Over the past ten years it has been shown that graphical modelling is a promising technique for modelling data on people's functioning. It can contribute to our understanding of the complex associations between domains of functioning and the identification of potential targets for rehabilitation interventions both at the level of the person and the environment. The objective of this methodological note is to demonstrate how graphical modelling can be used by rehabilitation clinicians and scientists in the description, understanding and influencing of people's functioning. The application of graphical modelling and the interpretation of results is illustrated using the Spinal Cord Injury Independence Measure - Self Report used in the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study. Finally, we discuss the potential of graphical modelling for the planning of studies that expand our understanding of functioning and for rehabilitation interventions.

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