Botulinum toxin use in rehabilitation clinics: a survey to highlight differences and similarities

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Spasticity is a complex condition and its management is multifaceted, involving physical therapies as well as interventions with botulinum toxin. There is currently no standard for best practice and also wide variation in spasticity service set-ups and the background of clinicians involved in treatment. This could potentially cause large differences in practice. The aim of this survey was to attempt to identify some of the common elements of service delivery as well as highlight any significant variations in service models. It was hoped that the results would assist healthcare professionals working with toxins to gauge or improve their own service provision in the light of any findings. A survey of 48 botulinum toxin experts was conducted at a national conference in the UK. Questions included (i) numbers of patients referred and diagnostic groups, (ii) staff composition of each clinic, (iii) methods of spasticity assessment, (iv) outcome measures and treatment goals commonly used and (v) follow-up arrangements. There were broad areas of agreement between experts such as methods of assessment of spasticity, treatment, injection guidance and follow-up arrangements. However, there were differences in diagnostic groups seen, staff composition and in outcome measurement across a wide range of clinic settings. There are considerable variations in practice between toxin experts. This survey may help practitioners identify areas of improvement in their services or explore alternative service arrangements.

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