The motor assessment scale - Is it fit for the future?

A. Palak, C. Smith, A. Abbott, Nadine Rizkallah

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Background: The Motor Assessment Scale (MAS) is commonly used to assess functional change in stroke patients. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the scale does not accurately reflect patient outcomes potentially impacting on physiotherapists’ use of the scale.

Aims: This study aims to investigate physiotherapists use and perceived utility of the MAS to measure functional performance of stroke survivors undergoing rehabilitation.

Method: A purpose-designed 29-item online survey was distributed to Queensland Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Network members. Open and closed questions were asked regarding demographics, MAS implementation, perception of item subtest hierarchy and levels of difficulty and adherence to scoring guidelines.

Results: Thirty-one surveys were received; 63% were from physiotherapists in metropolitan centers, 84% from public hospitals and 61% insubacute settings. Approximately half (45%) had been practicing in neurological rehabilitation for 5–10 years. More than 70% of respondents routinely used the MAS. The majority (80%) reported using the recommended guidelines when scoring the MAS, though 55% did not score all subsets of Item 8. Most were dissatisfied with hierarchy and levels of difficulty of item subtests, with no item scoring 100% satisfaction by respondents. Thirty percent of respondents did not use the MAS. Common reasons included: too time consuming (56%), not sensitive to change (22%), lack of confidence in administration (33%), items not relevant for patient function (45%) and ceiling effect (44%).

Conclusion: MAS use varies across rehabilitation units in Queensland. Difficulties were identified with all items, including use of recommended scoring guidelines. Further research is required to address these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'The motor assessment scale - Is it fit for the future?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this