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Upper limb international spasticity study 2

07 Jun 2013


To describe real-life practice and person-centred outcomes in the treatment of poststroke upper limb spasticity with botulinum toxin A (BoNT-A).


Observational, prospective study.


84 secondary care centres in 22 countries.


456 adults (≥18 years) with poststroke upper limb spasticity treated with one cycle of BoNT-A.


Muscle selection, BoNT-A preparation, injection technique and timing of follow-up were conducted according to routine practice for each centre. Primary outcome: achievement of the patient's primary goal for treatment using goal-attainment scaling (GAS). Measurements of spasticity, standardised outcome measures and global benefits were also recorded.


The median number of injected muscles was 5 (range 1–15) and the most frequently injected muscles were the long finger flexors, followed by biceps and brachioradialis. The median (range) follow-up time was 14 (2.6 to 32.3) weeks. The common primary treatment goals were passive function (132 (28.9%)), active function (104 (22.8%)), pain (61 (13.4%)), impairment (105 (23%)), involuntary movement (41 (9%)) and mobility (10 (2.2%)). Overall, 363 (79.6%) (95% CI 75.6% to 83.2%) patients achieved (or overachieved) their primary goal and 355 (75.4%) (95% CI 71.2% to 79.2%) achieved their secondary goal. Mean (SD) change from baseline in GAS T-scores was 17.6 (11.0) (95% CI 16.4 to 18.8; p<0.001). GAS T-scores were strongly correlated with global benefit and other standard measures (correlations of 0.38 and 0.63, respectively; p<0.001).


BoNT-A demonstrated a clinically significant effect on goal attainment for the real-life management of upper-limb spasticity following stroke. The study confirms the feasibility of a common international data set to collect systematic prospective data, and of using GAS to capture person-centred outcomes relating to passive and active functions and to pain.

Registration identifier: NCT01020500

7 June 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open