Special Article| Volume 22, ISSUE 3, P608-612, March 2021

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The Minimum Data Set: An Opportunity to Improve Spasticity Screening

Published:September 03, 2020DOI:


      Spasticity is a common movement disorder that arises from trauma or disease affecting the central nervous system. Untreated spasticity can result in limitations in completing activities of daily living, painful limb contractures, and other conditions associated with loss of mobility. In the long-term care setting, this treatable condition is prevalent, yet often unrecognized likely because of a lack of spasticity-trained practitioners. A recently published spasticity referral tool holds promise for addressing the underdiagnosis of spasticity in the long-term care population. The Minimum Data Set (MDS) would be an ideal mechanism for increasing the diagnosis and treatment of spasticity because it is a government-directed comprehensive screening tool that informs care plans for all residents residing in federally funded long-term care facilities. The MDS could easily integrate the published referral assessment to record the presence of spastic postures and muscle rigidity. We propose expanding the MDS to include 3 questions related to spasticity to improve the recognition and treatment of this prevalent and treatable condition.


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