Survey of methods of facial palsy documentation in use by members of the Sir Charles Bell Society

Adel Y. Fattah, Javier Gavilan, Tessa A. Hadlock, Jeffrey R. Marcus, Henri Marres, Charles Nduka, William H. Slattery, Alison K. Snyder-Warwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Facial palsy manifests a broad array of deficits affecting function, form, and psychological wellbeing. Assessment scales were introduced to standardize and document the features of facial palsy and to facilitate the exchange of information and comparison of outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine which assessment methodologies are currently employed by those involved in the care of patients with facial palsy as a first step toward the development of consensus on the appropriate assessments for this patient population. Study Design: Online questionnaire. Methods: The Sir Charles Bell Society, a group of professionals dedicated to the care of patients with facial palsy, were surveyed to determine the scales used to document facial nerve function, patient reported outcome measures (PROM), and photographic documentation. Results: Fifty-five percent of the membership responded (n = 83). Grading scales were used by 95%, most commonly the House-Brackmann and Sunnybrook scales. PROMs were used by 58%, typically the Facial Clinimetric Evaluation scale or Facial Disability Index. All used photographic recordings, but variability existed among the facial expressions used. Videography was performed by 82%, and mostly involved the same views as still photography; it was also used to document spontaneous movement and speech. Three-dimensional imaging was employed by 18% of respondents. Conclusions: There exists significant heterogeneity in assessments among clinicians, which impedes straightforward comparisons of outcomes following recovery and intervention. Widespread adoption of structured assessments, including scales, PROMs, photography, and videography, will facilitate communication and comparison among those who study the effects of interventions on this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2247-2251
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Assessment
  • Facial nerve
  • Palsy


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