Characterizing the Experience of Spasticity after Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator Name
Edelle Field-Fote/ Cathy Furbish
Principal Investigator Email
The purpose of this study is to assess the characteristics of spasticity that have the greatest impact on activities of daily living and the perceived value of available management strategies. Using two published questionnaires (SCI-SET and PRISM) and a customized questionnaire we will document the degree to which spasticity affects daily life and functioning in persons with SCI. We will characterize the various problematic manifestations of spasticity (e.g., spasms when at rest, spasms evoked by movement, clonus, stiffness, sleep disturbance, discomfort, pain), beneficial effects of spasticity (e.g., assistance with transfers, standing, positioning, walking, etc.) and preferred management strategies (e.g., physical therapeutics, oral pharmaceuticals, intrathecal baclofen, nerve blockades, cannabinoids, etc.).
This project is at the Exploratory and Discovery stage and is intended to generate theories about the different ways that spasticity may present in persons with SCI, and hypotheses about how the different forms of spasticity may respond differently to the same intervention. These observational findings will inform the development of future studies to evaluate which interventions are most effective for the individual based on the way spasticity presents in that individual (i.e., whether it presents primarily as spams or as stiffness). The results of this exploration research will also be of value for informing treatment priorities, as it may show that spasticity is over- or under-managed.