A pilot study of a comparison between a patient scored numeric rating scale and clinician scored measures of spasticity in multiple sclerosis

NeuroRehabilitation. 2009;24(4):333-40. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2009-0487.


Objective: To assess the validity and reliability of a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for the measurement of spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Design: Longitudinal study with multiple comparators over two clinic visits.

Setting: Rehabilitation Centre in the North East of England, UK.

Subjects: A total of thirty-five patients, with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) that were attending a rehabilitation clinic.

Results: The test/re-test reliability of the NRS showed there was a high correlation between the two visits (r = 0.672). Construct validity was assessed by examining the relationship between the mean spasticity NRS and each of the other spasticity assessment tools. There was a statistically significant correlation between subject's mean NRS diary scores and the Modified Ashworth Scale scores at both visits (Visit 1, r = 0.459, p = 0.0056; Visit 2, r = 0.446, p = 0.0106). There was a moderate, statistically significant correlation between the mean NRS diary scores and the Tardieu Scale (Visit 1, r = 0.429, p = 0.0113; Visit 2, r = 0.407, p = 0.0209).

Conclusions: The spasticity NRS has been shown to be a valid and reliable tool in the assessment of spasticity with a moderate to high level of correlation with other clinician rated instruments used to assess spasticity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation
  • Muscle Spasticity / diagnosis*
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology*
  • Muscle Spasticity / rehabilitation
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*