Content » Vol 53, Issue 2

Original report

Longitudinal goal attainment with integrated upper limb spasticity management including repeat injections of botulinum toxin A: Findings from the prospective, observational Upper Limb International Spasticity (ULIS-III) cohort study

Lynne Turner-Stokes, Jorge Jacinto, Klemens Fheodoroff, Allison Brashear, Pascal Maisonobe, Andreas Lysandropoulos, Stephen Ashford on behalf of the ULIS-III study group
Departmant of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2801


Objective: To assess the longitudinal effects of integrated spasticity management incorporating repeated cycles of botulinum toxin A type A (BoNT-A) over 2 years.
Methods: The Upper Limb International Spasticity study was a prospective, observational, cohort study following adult patients over 2 years of integrated upper-limb spasticity management including repeat botulinum toxin (BoNT-A) treatment (any commercially-available product).
Results: A total of 1,004 participants from 14 countries were enrolled, of which 953 underwent ≥ 1 BoNT-A injection cycle (median 4 cycles) and had ≥ 1 goal attainment scaling assessment. Most participants (55.9–64.6% across cycles 1–6) saw a therapist after BoNT-A treatment; the most frequent therapy intervention was passive stretch (70.1–79.8% across
cycles 1–6). Patients achieved their goals as expected over repeated cycles; mean cumulated goal attainment scaling T-score at 2 years was 49.5 (49.1, 49.9). Mean goal attainment scaling change scores of ≥ 10 were maintained across up to 7 cycles. Higher rates of goal achievement were seen for primary goals related to passive vs active function (86.6% vs 71.4% achievement). Standardized measures of spasticity, pain, involuntary movements, active and passive function improved significantly over the study.
Conclusion: This large, international study provides evidence for benefit of repeated cycles of BoNT-A, over 2 years captured through person-centred goal attainment and standardized measures.

Lay Abstract

This paper presents the primary efficacy results from the Upper Limb International Spasticity (ULIS-III) study, a large international longitudinal study that explored real-life clinical practice in the integrated management of upper-limb spasticity, using botulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) in conjunction with physical therapies. The study provides evidence for the sustained functional benefit of repeated cycles of BoNT-A. In particular, those patients who continued to receive repeated injections for up to 7 cycles in 2 years showed relevant goal attainment. Standard outcome measures generally supported the rates of goal achievement; ratings of pain, involuntary movements, active and passive function all improved significantly over each treatment cycle. The successful results from ULIS-III highlight the importance of accurate and clear goal-setting during BoNT-A treatment to help target clinical intervention and the use of focused outcome measurement.

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