Project Lead(s): Mindy Levin
Many people in both the developed and developing world have mobility deficits, due to neurological injury.
Motor deficits influence performance of even simple tasks and better outcomes can only be achieved through better diagnosis and management of motor disorders.
The project tested the reliability of a new, portable device (MSM) to measure spasticity in different clinical settings in a high- and a low-income country.
The MSM measures and charts the progress of recovery of the ability to control muscles after neurological injury.
The project team received clinician feedback about the use of the device, and held workshops and seminars to transfer basic science knowledge about spasticity and its measurement to local clinicians.
MSM devices using local materials and resources (to minimize costs and increase accessibility) are being built and the project is assessing the feasibility of training clinicians who serve patient populations in urban and rural areas with limited access to rehabilitation services on spasticity measurement.
Short-term intervention trials are also being conducted to assess the effectiveness of the measure in identifying changes in motor performance after targeted clinical interventions.
For clinical stakeholders, the project resulted in an increase in awareness about the importance of using valid and reliable clinical assessments in neurological practice, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of spasticity, and clinical evidence of a new, more valid and reliable tool to measure clinical spasticity.
This was documented by the high attendance at the seminars and workshops held in India (168 clinicians), a large number of participants in both of the web-based surveys (636 clinicians) and the preparation of at least four publications stemming from this work.
The clinicians who attended the workshops in India felt the device was better than any other available tool and also felt that it was easy to perform the assessment with proper training.
Many commented that they were ready to use the new assessment in their clinical setups, if available.
For patient stakeholders, the main outcome was a higher level of patient care, based on the availability of the new measure that more accurately reflects their neurological status.
The next step for the project team will be to find an international medical devices company that can market and distribute the device to relevant clinical settings.