Publication Date



Abstract The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides an ideal framework within which to conceptualize grading and quantification of upper extremity function for children with spasticity. In this article the authors provide an overview of assessments and classification tools used to (1) understand upper extremity function associated with spasticity and the factors that contribute to dysfunction, (2) guide the selection of appropriate interventions, (3) identify specific muscles to target using surgical interventions and botulinum toxin-A injections, and (4) measure the outcomes of upper extremity interventions. Assessments of upper extremity function are briefly described and categorized as to whether they (1) measure children's best ability or actual performance in daily life, (2) are clinician administered or are a child/proxy report, (3) assist in planning intervention and/or measuring outcomes, and (4) evaluate unimanual or bimanual ability. In addition, measures of spasticity and hypertonicity, and classifications of static and dynamic upper extremity postures are summarized.


School of Allied Health

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.