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Top Stroke Rehabil. 2011 Oct;18 Suppl 1:599-610. doi: 10.1310/tsr18s01-599.

Estimating the minimal clinically important difference of an upper extremity recovery measure in subacute stroke patients.

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Department of Neurology, CSM Medical University, Lucknow, India.



The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) estimates of some of the stroke-related measures are available; but MCID of the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) measure is unknown, which limits the application and interpretation of change scores in poststroke patients with motor deficits.


To estimate the MCID of the FMA-UE (upper extremity) using the modified Rankin scale (mRS) and global rating of patient-perceived changes (GRPPC) in subacute poststroke patients.


The prospective, cohort study took place in the neurology department of a university hospital. Seventy-one subacute poststroke (mean duration, 8.42 weeks) patients were prospectively enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of the ongoing Meaningful Task Specific Training (MTST). FMA-UE, mRS, and GRPPC scores were obtained at pre- and 4 weeks postintervention.


The MCID values of FMA-UE were 9 (80.39% sensitive and 70% specific) and 10 (97.62% sensitive and 89.66% specific) anchored to mRS and GRPPC, respectively.


The estimated MCID score for the upper extremity motor recovery among patients with subacute stroke is 9 to 10 on the FMA-UE. Patients with subacute stroke who achieve a score of 9 to 10 on FMA-UE are more likely to experience or perceive a meaningful and clinically important improvement in their disability level than those who do not. The reference value can be used to develop goals and interpret progress in subacute poststroke patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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