Background: Spasticity is often clinically assessed with the Tardieu Scale, using goniometry to measure the range of motion and angle of catch. However, the test-retest and inter-rater reliability of these measurements have been questioned. Inertial sensors (IS) have been developed to measure orientation in space and are suggested to be a more appropriate tool than goniometry to measure angles in Tardieu Scale measurements. Objective: To compare the test-retest and inter-rater reliability of Tardieu Scale scores measured with IS and goniometry. Methods: Two physiotherapists performed Tardieu Scale measurements in two sessions, using both goniometry and IS, to quantify spasticity in elbow flexors of 13 stroke patients. Results: For goniometry, test-retest and inter-rater reliability proved to be excellent (ICC 0.86) and fair to good (ICC 0.66), respectively. For IS, both test-retest (ICC 0.76) and inter-rater reliability (ICC 0.84) were excellent. Conclusions: Inertial sensors are reliable and accurate to use in Tardieu Scale measurements to quantify spasticity in the elbow flexors of hemiplegic stroke patients.

Gollehon Extendable Goniometer, Goniometry, Inertial sensors, Lafayette, MTx orientation sensor, Netherlands, Reliability, Spasticity, Tardieu Scale, United States, Xsens, aged, article, clinical article, comparative study, diagnostic accuracy, elbow, female, flexor muscle, goniometry, hemiplegia, human, inertial sensor, intermethod comparison, interrater reliability, male, physiotherapist, priority journal, rating scale, sensor, spasticity, stroke patient, tardieu scale, test retest reliability,
Gait & Posture
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Paulis, W.D, Horemans, H.L.D, Brouwer, B.S, & Stam, H.J. (2011). Excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability for Tardieu Scale measurements with inertial sensors in elbow flexors of stroke patients. Gait & Posture, 33(2), 185–189. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2010.10.094