Test-retest reliability and responsiveness of isokinetic dynamometry to assess wrist flexor muscle spasticity in subacute post-stroke hemiparesis

Nasrin Salehi Dehno, Fahimeh Kamali Sarvestani, Abdolhamid Shariat, Shapour Jaberzadeh

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Introduction: To overcome the limitations of clinical scales, objective measurement methods are becoming prominent in spasticity assessment. The aim of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability and responsiveness of isokinetic dynamometry to evaluate wrist flexor spasticity in patients with subacute stroke. Methods: Twenty six patients with hemiparetic stroke (13 men, 13 women, mean age 51.38 ± 12.64 years) volunteered to take part in this study. Resistive torque in the wrist flexor muscles was measured twice, 1 day apart, with an isokinetic dynamometer. Wrist extension was tested at four speeds (5, 60, 120 and 180°/s). Torque response at the lowest speed (5°/s) was attributed to the non-neural component of the wrist flexor muscles, and was subtracted from the torque response at the higher speeds to calculate reflex torque (spasticity). The reliability of reflex torque measurements at 60, 120 and 180°/s was evaluated with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1) and standard error of measurement (SEM and SEM%), which reflect reproducibility and measurement error, respectively. Responsiveness was calculated as the smallest real difference (SRD and SRD%). Results: Reproducibility was excellent at different movement speeds (ICC2, 1 0.76–0.85). SEM% ranged from 11% to 21%, and SRD% ranged from 30% to 58%. ICC values increased, and SEM% and SRD% decreased, as test speed increased. Conclusion: Our results support the reliability and responsiveness of isokinetic dynamometry to quantify spasticity in wrist flexor muscles in patients with subacute stroke. Reliability and responsiveness increased as the speed of wrist movement increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Isokinetic
  • Minimal detectable change
  • Reliability
  • Spasticity
  • Stroke

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