The Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) Locomotor Rating Scale is a standardized assessment scale for use in experimental spinal cord injury (SCI) research. This paper describes a computer program, ScoreCentre, which aims to simplify the recording and handling of BBB locomotor scale data. The program assists with the recording of observational data from open-field testing and then automatically calculates BBB scores. Possible errors associated with data entry and manual calculation of scores are thus essentially eliminated. In addition, significant time is saved by the automated derivation of scores and subscores and elimination of the need to manually transfer data from paper records to a computer. ScoreCentre can also be used as a training aid, to help familiarize users with the BBB scale and to explore how changes in the observations impact on overall BBB score. ScoreCentre includes simple experiment management functions such as control of trial blinding, administration of drugs in a blinded fashion and longitudinal data analysis. ScoreCentre provides all the advantages of electronic records, such as ease of use, analysis and archiving, and allows the elimination of paper records if appropriate. When paper records are required, for example for archiving and auditing, they can be automatically produced by ScoreCentre. ScoreCentre will assist with both the learning and use of the BBB locomotor scale, thus facilitating the use of this standardized outcome measure in SCI research. ScoreCentre is available to download from www.rmeonline.net/scorecentre.
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