Interrater reliability of a modified Ashworth scale of muscle spasticity

Phys Ther. 1987 Feb;67(2):206-7. doi: 10.1093/ptj/67.2.206.


We undertook this investigation to determine the interrater reliability of manual tests of elbow flexor muscle spasticity graded on a modified Ashworth scale. We each independently graded the elbow flexor muscle spasticity of 30 patients with intracranial lesions. We agreed on 86.7% of our ratings. The Kendall's tau correlation between our grades was .847 (p less than .001). Thus, the relationship between the raters' judgments was significant and the reliability was good. Although the results were limited to the elbow flexor muscle group, we believe them to be positive enough to encourage further trials of the modified Ashworth scale for grading spasticity.

MeSH terms

  • Elbow Joint / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Spasticity / diagnosis*
  • Muscle Spasticity / rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities