OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors and the optimal time point for the early prediction of the presence and severity of spasticity in the upper limb 12 months poststroke.
METHODS: In total, 117 patients in the Gothenburg area who had experienced a stroke for the first time and with documented arm paresis day 3 poststroke were consecutively included. Assessments were made at admission and at 3 and 10 days, 4 weeks, and 12 months poststroke. Upper limb spasticity in elbow flexion/extension and wrist flexion/extension was assessed with the modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Any spasticity was regarded as MAS ≥1, and severe spasticity was regarded as MAS ≥2 in any of the muscles. Sensorimotor function, sensation, pain, and joint range of motion in the upper limb were assessed with the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale, and, together with demographic and diagnostic information, were included in both univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis models. Seventy-six patients were included in the logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Sensorimotor function was the most important predictor both for any and severe spasticity 12 months poststroke. In addition, spasticity 4 weeks poststroke was a significant predictor for severe spasticity. The best prediction model for any spasticity was observed 10 days poststroke (85% sensitivity, 90% specificity). The best prediction model for severe spasticity was observed 4 weeks poststroke (91% sensitivity, 92% specificity).
CONCLUSIONS: Reduced sensorimotor function was the most important predictor both for any and severe spasticity, and spasticity could be predicted with high sensitivity and specificity 10 days poststroke.
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