[ARTICLE] Upper Limb Outcome Measures Used in Stroke Rehabilitation Studies: A Systematic Literature Review – Full Text



Establishing which upper limb outcome measures are most commonly used in stroke studies may help in improving consensus among scientists and clinicians.


In this study we aimed to identify the most commonly used upper limb outcome measures in intervention studies after stroke and to describe domains covered according to ICF, how measures are combined, and how their use varies geographically and over time.


Pubmed, CinHAL, and PeDRO databases were searched for upper limb intervention studies in stroke according to PRISMA guidelines and477 studies were included.


In studies 48different outcome measures were found. Only 15 of these outcome measures were used in more than 5% of the studies. The Fugl-Meyer Test (FMT)was the most commonly used measure (in 36% of studies). Commonly used measures covered ICF domains of body function and activity to varying extents. Most studies (72%) combined multiple outcome measures: the FMT was often combined with the Motor Activity Log (MAL), the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Action Research Arm Test, but infrequently combined with the Motor Assessment Scale or the Nine Hole Peg Test. Key components of manual dexterity such as selective finger movements were rarely measured. Frequency of use increased over a twelve-year period for the FMT and for assessments of kinematics, whereas other measures, such as the MAL and the Jebsen Taylor Hand Test showed decreased use over time. Use varied largely between countries showing low international consensus.


The results showed a large diversity of outcome measures used across studies. However, a growing number of studies used the FMT, a neurological test with good psychometric properties. For thorough assessment the FMT needs to be combined with functional measures. These findings illustrate the need for strategies to build international consensus on appropriate outcome measures for upper limb function after stroke.

Continue —> PLOS ONE: Upper Limb Outcome Measures Used in Stroke Rehabilitation Studies: A Systematic Literature Review

Fig 2. Frequency of use of different upper limb outcome measures (in % of studies). Frequency of use varies widely, between 36% and 1%. Only 15 measures were used in more than 5% of studies (dotted line). The 48 outcome measures are in alphabetic order: AMAT = Arm Motor Ability Test, ARAT = Action Research Arm Test, Ashworth = Ashworth scale, BBT = Box and Blocks Test, CAHAI = Chedoke Arm Hand Inventory, CMSA = Chedoke McMaster Stroke Assessment, COPM = Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, DAS = Disability Assessment Scale, DTI = Diffusion Tensor Imaging, EMG = Electromyography, FAT = Frenchay Arm Test, FC = Force Control, fMRI = Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, FMT = Fugl-Meyer Test, FTHUE = Functional Test for the Hemiplegic Upper Extremity, FTT = Finger Tapping Test, GOT = Grating Orientation Task, GRT = Grasp Release Test, HFS = Hand Function Survey, HFT = Hand Function Test, JTHT = Jebsen Taylor Hand Test, KIN = Kinematics, MAL = Motor Activity Log, MAM36 = Manual Ability Measurement 36, MAS = Motor Assessment Scale, MHS = Mini Hand Score, MI = Motricity Index, MMDT = Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test, NHPT = Nine Hole Peg Test, NSA = Nottingham Sensory Assessment, PT = Pegboard Test, RELHFT = Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory Hand Function Test, RMA = Rivermead Motor Assessment, ROM = Range of Movement, SHFT = Shollerman Hand Function Test, SHPT = Sixteen Hole Peg Test, SIAS = Stroke Impairment Assessment Set, SMES = Sodring Motor Evaluation Scale, SSDI = Standardized Somatosensory Deficit Index, STEF = Simple Test for Hand Function, TDT = Tactile Discrimination Test, TMS = Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TS = Tardieu Scale, UEFT = Upper Extremity Function Test, ULIS = Upper Limb Impairment Scale, VAS = Visual Analogue Scale, VFHT = Von-Frey Hair Test, WMFT = Wolf Motor Function Test. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154792.g002


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