Easy Shoulder Outcome Measure!

Reference:Williams GN, et al Comparison of the Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation method and two shoulder rating scales. Outcomes measures after shoulder surgery. Am J Sports Med. 1999 Mar-Apr;27(2):214-21.

There are a few shoulder outcome measures out there, such as DASH, the Upper Extremity Functional Index, the Shoulder Pain & Disability Index, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Scores, etc.

The truth is that full questionnaires are great for research purposes but not really practical for a busy clinical setting. So what is a practical solution?

This valuable study demonstrated that a written response to a single question correlated quite closely to a comprehensive questionnaire …and the simple question was…

“How would you rate your shoulder today as a percentage of normal?”
(0% to 100% scale with 100% being normal)

I’m not sure if it would be the same if you verbally asked the question, as this study specifies that the patient read and gave a written response. I suggest that you make a cue card with the above question on it, laminate it and have them write their answer with a dry erase marker. Then transfer your answer to their chart.

Although I don’t have a study to support this, you could technically replace the word “shoulder” with any other body part such as back, neck, elbow or knee and still get a pretty good idea of progress.

Posted on: April 09, 2012

Categories: Shoulder

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