BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The 50-item Fugl-Meyer motor scale (FM) is commonly used in outcome studies. However, the lengthy administration time of the FM keeps it from being widely accepted for routine clinical use. We aimed to develop a short form of the FM (the S-FM) with sound psychometric properties for stroke patients.
METHODS: The FM was administered to 279 patients. It was then simplified based on expert opinions and the results of Rasch analysis. The psychometric properties (including Rasch reliability, concurrent validity, predictive validity, and responsiveness) of the S-FM were examined and were compared with those of the FM. The concurrent validity and responsiveness of the S-FM were further validated in a sample from the Netherlands.
RESULTS: We selected 6 items for each subscale to construct a 12-item S-FM. The S-FM demonstrated high Rasch reliability, high concurrent validity with the original scale, moderate responsiveness, and moderate predictive validity with the comprehensive activities of daily living function. The S-FM also showed sufficient concurrent validity and responsiveness on the Dutch sample.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide strong evidence that the psychometric properties of the S-FM are comparable with those of the FM. The S-FM contains only 12 items, making it a very efficient measure for assessing the motor function of stroke patients in both clinical and research settings.