Interobserver agreement in the assessment of muscle strength and functional abilities in Guillain-Barré syndrome

Muscle Nerve. 1991 Nov;14(11):1103-9. doi: 10.1002/mus.880141111.


In studies of Guillain-Barré syndrome, functional deficit is usually assessed according to a functional scale consisting of several categories. The level of interobserver agreement in this scoring method is not known; furthermore, this method seems to be insensitive when applied to bedridden and artificially ventilated patients. We have developed an additional score (MRC-sumscore), reflecting muscle strength in general. Both scoring methods, tested in Guillain-Barré patients, have an almost perfect interobserver agreement. For the functional score kappa = 0.85, and for the MRC-sumscore r2 = 0.96. The MRC-sumscore is easily assessed and more sensitive than the functional score when patients are bedridden or artificially ventilated.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Movement
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / physiopathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Walking