Thompson-Butel, A. G, Lin, G., Shiner, C. T & McNulty, PA. (2015). Comparison of three tools to measure improvements in upper-limb function with poststroke therapy. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair,29(4), 341-348. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968314547766
Background. Functional ability is regularly monitored poststroke to assess improvement and the efficacy of clinical trials. The balance between implementation times and sensitivity has led to multidomain tools that aim to assess upper-limb function comprehensively. Objective. This study implemented 3 common multidomain tools to investigate their suitability across a broad spectrum of movement ability after stroke. Methods. Forty-nine hemiparetic patients (18 females), aged 22 to 83 years and 24.7 ± 39.2 months poststroke, were assessed before and after a 14-day upper-limb rehabilitation program of Wii-based Movement Therapy. Assessments included the upper-limb motor subscale of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (F-M), the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT), and the Motor Assessment Scale (MAS) upper-limb sections 6 to 8. The MAS was analyzed both with and without the hierarchical system. Patients were stratified with low, moderate, or high motor-function. Results. Upper-limb function improved significantly for the pooled cohort for all assessments (P < .001), although ceiling effects were evident for the F-M, floor effects for the WMFT, and both floor and ceiling effects for MAS. When analyzed by stratified subgroup these improvements were significant for all groups with the F-M, for the moderate and high motor-function groups with both the WMFT and the MAS scored without hierarchical system, but only for the high motor-function group with the hierarchically scored MAS. Conclusion. These results suggest that no single test is suitable for measuring function and improvement across the spectrum of poststroke upper-limb dysfunction and that assessment tool selection should be based on the level of residual motor-function of individual patients.
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