The development of scorecards to evaluate a video assessment system for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) was described and published in the PLOS One and was then announced in a press release by Casimir, the developer of the system called Duchenne Video Assessment (DVA).

Physical therapists experienced in evaluating patients with DMD “confirmed that the compensatory movement criteria included in the DVA scorecards were understandable, comprehensive, and clinically meaningful,” according to the study.

The DVA measures the ease of movement of the patients by identifying compensatory movement patterns. It then directs caregivers to video record patients while they are performing specific movement tasks at home. DVA-certified physical therapists then score the videos using scorecards with prespecified compensatory movement criteria.


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“The DVA provides a window into the way patients with Duchenne move and function in their home environment, and our scorecards provide a standardized way for physical therapists to identify compensatory movement patterns,” said Marielle G. Contesse, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and research scientist at Casimir, which was later acquired by Emmes.

“Ultimately, we hope that the DVA will be able to detect changes in patient function in a shorter period of time than existing outcome measures. This could potentially reduce the time that patients spend participating in a clinical trial.”

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To develop and refine the scorecards, the researchers gathered expert opinions from 8 physiotherapists who had evaluated more than 50 patients with DMD and participated in more than 10 DMD clinical trials on the understandability, comprehensiveness, and clinical meaningfulness of the compensatory movements. The physiotherapists evaluated the scorecards for 15 movement tasks including walking, climbing stairs, putting on a t-shirt, and eating.

“The at-home setting allows us to assess an even wider range of day-to-day movements. It also eliminates the need for patients and families to travel long distances to clinical trial sites,” Dr. Contesse said.

References

Emmes and Casimir announce research about a novel, home-based assessment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. News release. Emmes; April 27, 2022.

Contesse MG, Lowes LP, White MK, et al. Development of Duchenne video assessment scorecards to evaluate ease of movement among those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. PLOS One. 2022;13;17(4):e0266845. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0266845