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Stroke. 2011 Feb;42(2):427-32. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.592766. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Fugl-Meyer assessment of sensorimotor function after stroke: standardized training procedure for clinical practice and clinical trials.

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  • 1University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. kasulliv@usc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Outcome measurement fidelity within and between sites of multi-site, randomized, clinical trials is an essential element to meaningful trial outcomes. As important are the methods developed for randomized, clinical trials that can have practical utility for clinical practice. A standardized measurement method and rater training program were developed for the total Fugl-Meyer motor and sensory assessments; inter-rater reliability was used to test program effectiveness.

METHODS:

Fifteen individuals with hemiparetic stroke, 17 trained physical therapists across 5 regional clinical sites, and an expert rater participated in an inter-rater reliability study of the Fugl-Meyer motor (total, upper extremity, and lower extremity subscores) and sensory (total, light touch, and proprioception subscores) assessments.

RESULTS:

Intra-rater reliability for the expert rater was high for the motor and sensory scores (range, 0.95-1.0). Inter-rater agreement (intraclass correlation coefficient, 2, 1) between expert and therapist raters was high for the motor scores (total, 0.98; upper extremity, 0.99; lower extremity, 0.91) and sensory scores (total, 0.93; light touch, 0.87; proprioception, 0.96).

CONCLUSIONS:

Standardized measurement methods and training of therapist assessors for a multi-site, rehabilitation, randomized, clinical trial resulted in high inter-rater reliability for the Fugl-Meyer motor and sensory assessments. Poststroke sensorimotor impairment severity can be reliably assessed for clinical practice or rehabilitation research with these methods.

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