Although widespread in the treatment of generalised spasticity due to severe acquired brain injury, clinical use of intrathecal baclofen administered through an implanted catheter is not yet supported by full scientific evidence. The aim of the study is to provide recommendations for good clinical practice regarding intrathecal baclofen therapy. We used a modified RAND Delphi method to develop consensus-based medical guidelines, involving clinicians who use intrathecal baclofen therapy throughout Italy. The clinicians were asked 38 questions grouped in six areas (patient selection, contraindications for implant, tests prior to implant, method of implant and management of therapy, efficacy evaluation and goal setting, and management of complications). To establish consensus, 75% agreement was required in answers to every question. Consensus was reached on the second round of the Delphi process on 27/38 questions (71%), specifically those regarding identification of objectives, efficacy evaluation, and method of implant and management of therapy, whereas management of complications and contraindications for implant remained critical areas. Despite the limits of our method, a set of recommendations was drawn up for clinical practice in this sector. The study also revealed residual critical areas and indicated future lines of research necessary to reach evidence-based consensus.
- Journal Article