Publié le

Development and initial validation of the polyhandicap severity scale

M-C Rousseau, K Baumstarck, I Hamouda, M Valkov, A Felce, S Khaldi-Cherif, C Brisse, A Loundou, P Auquier, T Billette de Villemeur, French Polyhandicap Group.

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2021 Jun;177(6):683-689. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2020.06.018. Epub 2020 Oct 14.


Objectives: Providing a new tool, based on the point of view of experts in polyhandicap, which assesses the global severity of the health status of polyhandicapped persons is necessary. We present herein the initial validation of the polyhandicap severity scale (PSS).

Methods: The initial development of the tool was undertaken in two steps: item selection and validation process. The final set included 10 items related to abilities and 17 items related to comorbidities and impairments. The patient selection criteria were as follows: age>3 years, age at onset of cerebral lesion under 3 years old, with a combination of motor deficiency and profound intellectual impairment, associated with restricted mobility and everyday life dependence. External validity, reproducibility (20 patients), responsiveness (38 patients), and acceptability were explored.

Results: During the 18-month study period, a total of 875 patients were included. Two scores were calculated: an abilities score and a comorbidities/impairments score (higher score, higher severity). The 2 scores were higher for: older patients, patients with a progressive etiology, patients with more devices and more medications, patients with higher dependency and lower mobility. Indicators of reproducibility and responsiveness were satisfactory. The mean time duration of fulfilling was 22minutes (standard deviation 5).

Conclusions: Quantifying the health severity of polyhandicapped persons is necessary for both healthcare workers and health decision makers. The polyhandicap severity scale provides the first reliable and valid measure of the health severity status for children and adults.

Keywords: Health status; Polyhandicap; Scale; Severity; Validation.