Measures of sensation in neurological conditions: A systematic review

Division of Physiotherapy Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
Clinical Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.24). 01/2012; 26(1):68-80. DOI: 10.1177/0269215511412982
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To systematically review the psychometric properties and clinical utility of measures of sensation in neurological conditions to inform future research studies and clinical practice.
Electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and AMED) were searched from their inception to December 2010.
Search terms were used to identify articles that investigated any sensory measures in neurological conditions. Data about their psychometric properties and clinical utility were extracted and analyzed independently. The strength of the psychometric properties and clinical utility were assessed following recommendations. (1)
Sixteen sensory measures were identified. Inter-rater reliability and redundancy of testing protocols are particular issues for this area of assessment. Eleven were rejected because they were not available for a researcher or clinician to use. Of the remaining five measures, the Erasmus MC modifications of the Nottingham Sensory Assessment and the Sensory section of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment showed the best balance of clinical utility and psychometric properties.
Many measures of sensory impairment have been used in research but few have been fully developed to produce robust data and be easy to use. At present, the sensory section of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and the Erasmus MC modifications of the Nottingham Sensory Assessment show the most effective balance of usability and robustness, when delivered according to the operating instructions.

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