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Inter- and Intra-Rater Reliability of the Australian Spasticity Assessment Scale in Adults with Acquired Brain Injury

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DOI: 10.4236/ojtr.2015.33011    4,284 Downloads   5,137 Views

ABSTRACT

Objective: This study investigated the inter- and intra-rater reliability of the Australian Spasticity Assessment Scale (ASAS) in adults with unilateral hypertonia following acquired brain injury. The ASAS has been shown to be superior to other clinical tools for the assessment of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy but reliability has not been previously examined in adults. Method: Four muscle groups were rated on one occasion by four assessors using the ASAS in sixteen adults with unilateral hypertonia following acquired brain injury. Twelve participants returned one week later for reassessment by the same assessors. Results: Overall inter-rater reliability of the ASAS using a quadratic weighted Kappa was moderate (Kqw 0.58) with ranges from moderate to good (Kqw 0.42 - 0.70). Agreement between raters was greatest for soleus muscle and least for wrist flexors. Overall intra-rater reliability of each of the four raters was moderate to good (Kqw 0.48 - 0.79). Agreement within raters was greatest for soleus muscle and least for biceps muscle. Conclusions: The ASAS may represent an appropriate alternative to the clinical scales currently used to assess spasticity; however inter and intra-rater reliability data from this investigation are lower than those which have previously been reported by experienced users of the ASAS in children with cerebral palsy. Further investigation with a larger sample size is warranted before any firm conclusions may be drawn about the reliability and validity of this tool to assess spasticity in adults with acquired brain injury.

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Calame, A. and Singer, B. (2015) Inter- and Intra-Rater Reliability of the Australian Spasticity Assessment Scale in Adults with Acquired Brain Injury. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 3, 77-86. doi: 10.4236/ojtr.2015.33011.

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