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Evaluation of a questionnaire for assessment of spasticity in spinal cord injury

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Researcher(s): Dr. Patricia Mills

The purpose of this study is to find out if a questionnaire called the Penn Spasms Frequency Scale (PSFS) is a good method of measuring how often involuntary muscle spasms occur and, if they do occur, how severe they are in individuals with SCI. Specifically, this study is looking at whether the PSFS is reliable – if the results of this questionnaire are consistent when the same health care professional administers it more than once and when different health care professionals administer it.

The questionnaire will be administered over the phone a total of 4 times. Up to a maximum of 2 questions will be asked each time and each phone call should take less than 5 minutes.

Why should you participate in this study?

Spasticity is a common complication that can occur as a result of a spinal cord injury, and can be very problematic for those who experience it. More research is needed to establish better treatment strategies for spasticity in individuals with a spinal cord injury. In order to conduct research in this area, there is a need for a good, reliable questionnaire that identifies the presence and severity of spasms in affected individuals.If the PSFS is shown to be a useful tool to measure spasms, then future research can use this questionnaire when studying whether treatments are effective in managing spasticity in individuals with a spinal cord injury.

You can participate in this study if

  • you are between 18 and 65 years old
  • you have a spinal cord injury that occurred at least 1 year ago
  • you currently experience spasticity (involuntary muscle spasms below the level of injury), which has been stable over the past 2 weeks
  • you don’t anticipate any change in current treatments for spasticity over the next 8 weeks
  • you speak English

Amount of time required for participation: 20 minutes total over maximum 7 weeks

Compensation for participation: yes

Location of study: Completed over the phone

For more information or to sign up to participate in this study, please contact the study coordinator Farhana Dossa by phone (778-239-7890) or email.