Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the Motor Evaluation Scale for Upper Extremity in Stroke Patients

Published:October 09, 2018DOI:
      Few stroke scales for upper limb movements include movement quality when assessing task completion. Assessing movement quality is important because it provides information about how a person accomplishes a task, including compensatory movements and joint limitations. This is essential information for the therapist to guide individualized treatment and optimize recovery.1
      The Motor Evaluation Scale for Upper Extremity in Stroke Patients (MESUPES) assesses quality and quantity of upper limb daily life functional movements in stroke. Because tone, muscle contractions, and active movements are scored by a therapist, the scale is useful for people with no active arm or hand function to minimal motor impairments.2 MESUPES has a MESUPES-ARM section (8 items) and a MESUPES-HAND section (9 items) and takes 5-15 minutes to complete.2
      MESUPES-ARM and MESUPES-HAND have excellent inter-rater reliability,2. 3. internal consistency and construct validity, evaluated with Rasch Measurement Theory.2 Rasch Measurement Theory converts an ordinal scale to an interval scale (measured in logits) for more precise measurement of change. The hierarchy from easy to difficult items is maintained across demographic and clinical subgroups.2 Conversion from total scores for both subscales to logits to a Rasch-converted percentage score can be requested from [email protected] . Plans are made to publish the conversion table. Both subscales have excellent convergent validity with the Modified Motor Assessment Scale and Stroke Upper Limb Capacity Scale, ranging from ρ=0.84-0.91.3. 4. SEM and minimal detectable change values are available.3 In sum, the reliability, validity, unidimensionality of the subscales and invariance across stroke subgroups support clinical use of MESUPES in people with stroke.
      This abbreviated summary provides a review of the psychometric properties of the MESUPES in people with stroke. A full review of the MESUPES and reviews of over 400 other instruments for patients with various health conditions can be found at:
      Please address correspondence to [email protected] .
      This instrument summary is designed to facilitate the selection of outcome measures by clinicians. The information contained in this summary represents a sample of the peer-reviewed research available at the time of this summary’s publication. The information contained in this summary does not constitute an endorsement of this instrument for clinical practice. The views expressed are those of the summary authors and do not represent those of authors’ employers, instrument owner(s), the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Rehabilitation Measures Database or the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The information contained in this summary has not been reviewed externally.
      The Rehabilitation Measures Database and Instrument Summary Tear-sheets were initially funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), United States Department of Health and Human Services, through the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes (grant no. H133B090024).
      • 1.
        Demers M, Levin MF. Do activity level outcome measures commonly used in neurological practice assess upper-limb movement quality? Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2017;31:623-37.
      • 2.
        Van de Winckel A, Feys H, van der Knaap S, et al. Can quality of movement be measured? Rasch analysis and inter-rater reliability of the Motor Evaluation Scale for Upper Extremity in Stroke Patients (MESUPES). Clin Rehabil 2006;20:871-84.
      • 3.
        Johansson GM, Hager CK. Measurement properties of the Motor Evaluation Scale for Upper Extremity in Stroke Patients (MESUPES). Disabil Rehabil 2012;34:288-94.
      • 4.
        Branco JP, Oliveira S, Páscoa Pinheiro J, L Ferreira P. Assessing upper limb function: transcultural adaptation and validation of the Portuguese version of the Stroke Upper Limb Capacity Scale. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 2017;9:15.


      This page was developed by Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MS, PT, and Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN (e-mail address: [email protected] ).
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