Assessment of motor limb strength by neuroscience nurses: variations in practice and associated challenges

Cook, NF, Braine, ME ORCID:, O'Rourke, C and Nolan, S 2022, 'Assessment of motor limb strength by neuroscience nurses: variations in practice and associated challenges' , British Journal of Nursing, 31 (20) , pp. 1033-1039.

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Background:Limb strength is a central component of neurological assessment and monitoring in nursing practice, yet there is a lack of research examining the tools used by nurses or challenges nurses encounter when using these tools. The evidence base is lacking to inform effective practice and the underpinning educational approaches. Aim:To determine which tools are used by UK and Irish neuroscience nurses in the assessment of limb strength and the associated challenges and variations in practice. Methods:This study used an online self-reported survey design to ascertain which tools neuroscience nurses used and their experience of using these (n=160). Findings:Practices varied, with a dominance of two tools being used in practice: the Medical Research Council scale and the ‘normal power’ to ‘no movement’ scale found on the neurological observation chart. Most respondents used the same tool across all conditions. Conclusion:This study highlights variations in assessment practice and the absence of a sound evidence base behind choice of motor limb strength assessment tools used.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in British Journal of Nursing, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Nursing
Publisher: Mark Allen Publishing
ISSN: 0966-0461
Depositing User: Dr Mary E. Braine
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 09:43
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 09:45

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