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Assessment set for evaluation of clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis: psychometric properties

Authors Rasova K, Martinkova, Vyskotova, Sedova

Received 27 March 2012

Accepted for publication 21 June 2012

Published 11 October 2012 Volume 2012:3 Pages 59—70


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Kamila Rasova,1 Patricia Martinkova,2 Jana Vyskotova,3 Michaela Sedova2

1Department of Rehabilitation, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and Faculty Hospital Královské Vinohrady, Prague, Czech Republic; 2Center of Biomedical Informatics and Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics, Institute of Computer Science, AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic; 3Faculty of Medicine, Ostrava University, Ostrava, Czech Republic

Purpose: Multiple sclerosis (MS) manifests itself in a wide range of symptoms. Physiotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of those symptoms connected with mobility. For this therapy to be at its most effective it should be based on a systematic examination that is able to describe and classify damaged clinical functions meaningfully. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a battery of tests and composite tests that can be used to systematically evaluate clinical features of MS treatable by physiotherapy.
Methods: The authors assembled a proposed battery of tests comprising known, standard, and validated assessments (low-contrast letter acuity testing; the Motricity Index; the Modified Ashworth Scale; the Berg Balance Scale; scales of postural reactions, tremor, dysdiadochokinesia, and dysmetria; the Nine-Hole Peg Test; the Timed 25-Foot Walk; and the 3-minute version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test) and one test (knee hyperextension) of the authors’ own. Normalization was calculated and six composite assessments were measured. Seventeen ambulatory subjects with MS were tested twice with the assessment set before undergoing physiotherapy, and 12 were also tested with the assessment set after the physiotherapy. The test–retest reliability, stability, internal consistency of composite measurements, sensitivity to changes after therapy, and correlation between measurements and the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale score were evaluated for all tests in the assessment set.
Results: A good internal consistency was confirmed for all tests in the proposed battery, and most of the tests also showed good test–retest reliability. While no significant changes occurred without treatment, significant posttreatment improvement was proved in all tests except for low-contrast letter acuity testing, where only a trend to improvement was proved.
Conclusion: The proposed assessment set is a good tool for the evaluation of clinical features of MS treatable by physiotherapy. This battery of tests is applicable in both clinical practice and research.

Keywords: outcome assessment, reproducibility of results, psychometric properties, test–retest reliability, internal consistency

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