Wolf motor function test for characterizing moderate to severe hemiparesis in stroke patients

Timea M. Hodics, Kyle Nakatsuka, Bhim Upreti, Arun Alex, Patricia S. Smith, John C. Pezzullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Objective: To extend the applicability of the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) to describe the residual functional abilities of moderate to severely affected stroke patients. Design: Data were collected as part of 2 double-blind, sham-controlled, randomized interventional studies: the Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in Chronic Stroke Recovery and the tDCS Enhanced Stroke Recovery and Cortical Reorganization. Stroke patients were evaluated with the upper extremity Fugl-Meyer (UFM) and the WMFT in the same setting before treatment. Setting: University inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient clinic. Participants: Stroke patients (N=32) with moderate to severe hemiparesis enrolled in the tDCS in Chronic Stroke Recovery and the tDCS Enhanced Stroke Recovery and Cortical Reorganization studies. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: WMFT scores were calculated using (1) median performance times and (2) a new calculation using the mean rate of performance. We compared the distribution of values from the 2 methods and examined the WMFT-UFM correlation for the traditional and the new calculation. Results: WMFT rate values were more evenly distributed across their range than median WMFT time scores. The association between the WMFT rate and UFM was as good as the association between the median WMFT time scores and UFM (Spearman ρ,.84 vs -.79). Conclusions: The new WMFT mean rate of performance is valid and a more sensitive measure in describing the functional activities of the moderate to severely affected upper extremity of stroke subjects and avoids the pitfalls of the median WMFT time calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1967
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Hemiparesis
  • Methods
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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