Structural equation modeling and rehabilitation research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Structural equation modeling (SEM) has been used extensively in the social sciences in the recent past to model human behavior. SEM has been less used by other disciplines, including rehabilitation medicine. This article begins by providing an introduction to structural equation modeling through the discussion of the definition and basic concepts behind SEM using a conceptual model relevant to rehabilitation medicine that describes the pathway from health to disability (the Enabling-Disabling model). The next focus is on several potential pitfalls of which the researcher needs to be aware when using SEM. After this discussion, a hypothetical example is presented using structural equation modeling to evaluate the Enabling- Disabling model. The article concludes with a review of the advantages and disadvantages of using SEM for clinical and social science research. Throughout the article, references are provided for a more detailed examination of SEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Rehabilitation Research
  • Statistical Methods
  • Structural Equation Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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