Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Ashworth Spasticity Scale (and Modified Version)

  • Kari DunningEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1792




The Ashworth Scale (AS) and Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) measure spasticity. During the administration of both AS (Ashworth 1964) and MAS (Bohannon and Smith 1987), the examiner passively moves the joint being tested and rates the perceived level of resistance in the muscle groups opposing the movement. Both scales are single-item measures ranging from 0 to 4, where 0 indicates no increase in muscle tone and 4 indicates that the affected part is rigid in flexion or extension. The AS is considered an ordinal scale, whereas the MAS is considered a nominal scale due to ambiguity created by the addition of the 1+ grade between 1 and 2 (Pandyan et al. 1999).

Historical Background

The AS was first described by Ashworth in 1964 (Ashworth 1964) and was subsequently modified with the addition of a 1+ grade by Bohannon in 1987 with the intent to increase sensitivity (Bohannon and Smith 1987). However, this addition may have decreased the reliability of the MAS for...

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References and Readings

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA