Current practices of physical and occupational therapists regarding spasticity assessment and treatment

Andréanne K. Blanchette, Marika Demers, Kathleen Woo, Akash Shah, John M. Solomon, Aditi A. Mullick, Mindy F. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand current trends in rehabilitation practice regarding spasticity assessment and treatment. Method: The clinical practices of Canadian physiotherapists and occupational therapists in assessing and treating spasticity were investigated using a selfadministered, Web-based questionnaire (cross-sectional design). Experienced clinicians developed the questionnaire, which surveyed socio-demographic characteristics, work environment, and clinician satisfaction with spasticity assessments and preferences for treatment. Results: A total of 317 clinicians (204 physiotherapists and 113 occupational therapists) completed the questionnaire. The majority of participants reported that using valid and reliable outcome measures to assess spasticity was important (91.1%). Most clinicians indicated using a combination of spasticity assessments, and their level of satisfaction with these assessments was very high. All clinicians believed that spasticity should be evaluated by rehabilitation professionals, and most indicated that it should be assessed by more than one professional. Although 83.8% indicated that spasticity should be tested on admission, a much lower percentage believed that it should be evaluated throughout rehabilitation. Most clinicians (92.2%) reported using multiple treatment modalities for spasticity. Conclusions: This study is the first to document clinicians’ practices regarding spasticity assessment and treatment. A better understanding of current trends in physiotherapy and occupational therapy will help in tailoring strategies to improve practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiotherapy Canada
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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