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Neurology Section Outcome Measures Recommendations

Based on feedback from two recent Neurology Section efforts: the regional course Neurologic Practice Essentials: A Functional Toolbox and Consensus Guidelines for Entry-level Education; the Section is in the process of developing recommendations for outcome measure use in clinical practice and entry level physical therapist education.  Currently, the Section has completed recommendations for use of outcome measures in people with stroke.  These will be presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans in February of 2011. Section members are currently developing recommendations for use of outcome measures in people with Multiple Sclerosis. These will be presented at CSM 2012. The Section plans on continuing to develop recommendations for use with people with brain injury, balance and falls risk, other degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, and vestibular disorders.


  • Measures are selected for review that were recommended by the Section's Special Interest Groups for the Toolbox course and were included in the Entry-level Neurologic Content Guidelines. 
  • Initial review of each measure is completed by a pair of task force members. The psychometric properties of the measures are reviewed using a modified EDGE (Evidence Database to Guide Effectiveness) template (a format recommended by the APTA EDGE task force).
  • Recommendations for use of an outcome measure are rated on a 4 point ordinal scale
    • 4= highly recommended; the outcome measure has excellent psychometric properties and clinical utility
    • 3= recommended; the outcome measure has good psychometric properties and good clinical utility
    • 2= unable to recommend at this time; there is insufficient information to support a recommendation of this outcome measure
    • 1= not recommended; the outcome measure has poor psychometric properties and/or poor clinical utility
  • A modified Delphi process is used by the entire task force to reach a consensus regarding the final recommendations


Recommendations for use of each outcome measure reviewed are categorized by 5 practice settings: acute care hospital, in-patient rehabilitation, home health, skilled nursing facility, and out-patient as well as by acuity level.
Recommendations for each outcome measure are also offered related to entry level PT education.  Measures are characterized as those that students should learn to administer, should be exposed to, or are not recommended. Finally, measures are categorized as being appropriate for research purposes on a yes/no basis.

Stroke recommendations

Multiple Sclerosis recommendations