The purpose of this study was to assess a patient specific measure for eliciting and recording patients' problems. While the notion was to develop a measure that would be applicable to a number of conditions or disabilities, this study assessed the measure's performance on 63 out-patients with mechanical low back pain. Patients were asked to identify up to five important activities they were having difficulty with as a result of their back pain. Patients rated difficulty on an 11-point numerical scale. At subsequent reassessments patients were informed of the activities and corresponding difficulty scores identified at the previous assessment and asked to provide a current difficulty score. Concurrent validity of the patient-specific measure was assessed using the Roland-Morris Questionnaire. Sensitivity to valid change over time was determined by comparing the measure's score to the average patient/clinician global rating of change. Moderate to excellent reliability, validity, and sensitivity to change coefficients were obtained for the patient-specific measure, suggesting it may be a useful tool in clinical practice.
Assessing Disability and Change on Individual Patients: A Report of a Patient Specific Measure
Paul Stratford, MSc, PT Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, McMaster University, Hamilton ON.
Caroline Gill PT, Physiotherapist, St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, ON.
Michael Westaway, BSc(PT), CCRC, Physiotherapist, Marlborough Physiotherapy Sports and Spinal Clinic, Calgary, AB.
Jill Binkley, BSc(PT), M.CI.Sc, COMP, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, North Georgia College and Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, St. Joseph's Hospital, Dahlonege, GA, USA.