A systematic review of the Tardieu Scale for the measurement of spasticity

Disabil Rehabil. 2006 Aug 15;28(15):899-907. doi: 10.1080/09638280500404305.


Background: The Tardieu Scale has been suggested a more appropriate clinical measure of spasticity than the Ashworth or modified Ashworth Scales. It appears to adhere more closely to Lance's definition of spasticity as it involves assessment of resistance to passive movement at both slow and fast speeds.

Objective: To review the available literature in which the Tardieu Scale has been used or discussed as a measure of spasticity, with a view to determining its validity and reliability.

Study design: A systematic review of all literature found related to the Tardieu Scale (keywords: Tardieu scale, spasticity) from Pubmed and Ovid databases, including medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, Journals at Ovid full text, EBM reviews and Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Hand searching was also used to track the source literature.

Conclusions: In theory, we can acknowledge that the Tardieu Scale does, in fact, adhere more closely to Lance's definition of spasticity. However, there is a dearth of literature investigating validity and reliability of the scale. Some studies have identified the Tardieu Scale to be more sensitive than other measures, to change following treatment with botulinum toxin. Further studies need to be undertaken to clarify the validity and reliability of the scale for a variety of muscle groups in adult neurological patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Muscle Spasticity / classification*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index