A critical review of functional assessment tools for upper limbs in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
The recent development of therapeutic approaches for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has highlighted the need to identify clinical outcome measures for planned efficacy studies. Although several studies have reported the value of functional scales, timed tests, and measures of endurance aimed at ambulant individuals, less has been done to identify reliable measures of function in individuals who have lost ambulation. The aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of the existing literature on functional measures assessing upper extremity function in DMD. Four observer-rated, performance-based measures and four self-reported scales have been previously used in DMD. Each scale provides useful information but none reflects all the different levels of functional ability in activities of daily living observed in individuals with DMD at different ages.