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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 173-176

How reliable is manual muscle testing and does it correlate with functional and quality of life outcomes in patients with upper brachial plexus injury and cervical spine pathology: A protocol

Physiotherapy Department, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Caroline Miller
Physiotherapy Department, Therapy Services, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, B15 2GW
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmsr.jmsr_102_18

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Objectives: Measurement of muscle force using the Medical Research Council (MRC) Grades (0 to 5) is frequently used to evaluate the outcome following a brachial plexus injury (BPI). BPIs result in significant functional and psychosocial issues. It is unclear whether improvements in muscle force correlate with functional and quality of life (QoL) outcomes. Our aim is to assess the inter-rater reliability of the MRC grading system with patients with upper trunk BPIs and weakness from C5/6 cervical pathology and to explore whether the grading systems correlate with function and QoL. Methods: Forty participants with upper trunk BPIs and those with weakness secondary to cervical C5/C6 pathology will be recruited. Two clinicians will assess muscle power using the MRC muscle grading scale. Each clinician will be blinded to the others' score. Each participant will complete a quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) and also a EuroQol five-dimensional scale. Statistical Analysis: Inter-rater reliability of the MRC manual testing will be calculated using a weighted kappa. To assess for the correlation between the DASH and QoL and the muscle testing results, a Spearman correlation will be used.

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