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Research Article  |   January 1991
Reliability of Three Clinical Measures of Muscle Tone in the Shoulders and Wrists of Poststroke Patients
Author Affiliations
  • J. Scott Worley, MA, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Director, Occupational Therapy Research, School of Allied Health Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
  • Wanda Bennett, MS, OTR/L, is Senior Therapist, Department of Occupational Therapy, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville, North Carolina
  • Georganna Miller, MEd, OTR/L, is Supervisor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Mary Miller, OTR/L, is Assistant Supervisor, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Blanks Walker, OTR/L, is a Staff Therapist, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville, North Carolina
  • Clarissa Harmon, OTR/L, is a Staff Therapist, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Stroke / Research
Research Article   |   January 1991
Reliability of Three Clinical Measures of Muscle Tone in the Shoulders and Wrists of Poststroke Patients
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1991, Vol. 45, 50-58. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.1.50
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1991, Vol. 45, 50-58. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.1.50
Abstract

Muscle tone was tested at the shoulders and wrists of 49 randomly selected poststroke patients with the use of resting joint position (SJP and WJP), resistance to passive movement or stiffness (SRM and WRM), and angle of appearance of resistance (SAR and WAR). Subjects were tested while seated with their arm supported in a suspension sling adapted for free movement. Five of the first and immediately repeated measurement pairs showed strong correlations and interrater reliability (SJP, .839; WJP, .900; SRM, .886; WRM, .904; SAR, .884 [p < .05]). The sixth (WAR) showed moderate reliability (.618, p < .05). Resting joint position measurements were most reliable among subjects with higher tone. The joint first measured had a slight order effect on SRM among subjects with higher muscle tone. Its second measurements were slightly increased over the first among those subjects whose shoulders were measured first and slightly reduced when measured immediately after the wrist. Reliable means of clinical evaluation of muscle tone at the shoulder and wrist are available if the influence of level of tone and the mutual influence of muscles tested are prudently considered.