The Irvine, Beatties, and Bresnahan (IBB) forelimb recovery scale: An assessment of reliability and validity

Karen Amanda Irvine, Adam R. Ferguson, Kathleen D. Mitchell, Stephanie B. Beattie, Amity Lin, Ellen D. Stuck, J. Russell Huie, Jessica L. Nielson, Jason F. Talbott, Tomoo Inoue, Michael S. Beattie, Jacqueline C. Bresnahan

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46 Scopus citations


The IBB scale is a recently developed forelimb scale for the assessment of fine control of the forelimb and digits after cervical spinal cord injury [SCI; (1)]. The present paper describes the assessment of inter-rater reliability and face, concurrent and construct validity of this scale following SCI. It demonstrates that the IBB is a reliable and valid scale that is sensitive to severity of SCI and to recovery over time. in addition, the IBB correlates with other outcome measures and is highly predictive of biological measures of tissue pathology. Multivariate analysis using principal component analysis (PCA) demonstrates that the IBB is highly predictive of the syndromic outcome after SCI (2), and is among the best predictors of bio-behavioral function, based on strong construct validity. Altogether, the data suggest that the IBB, especially in concert with other measures, is a reliable and valid tool for assessing neurological deficits in fine motor control of the distal forelimb, and represents a powerful addition to multivariate outcome batteries aimed at documenting recovery of function after cervical SCI in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume5 JUL
StatePublished - 2014


  • Forelimb functional task
  • Recovery of function
  • Reliability
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Validity


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