Outcome Measurement

Last Updated: January 25 2005

Patients with musculoskeletal problems may present with major functional losses to specific joints as well as systemic manifestations of their condition.


Evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment requires evaluation of both joint-specific function and overall health status. Standardized self-assessment tools provide a practical method for characterizing these two important dimensions of the changes after treatment. We have found The Simple Shoulder Test and the SF 36 to be particularly useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the management of shoulder conditions. The former relates to specific shoulder function and the latter to overall health status. These self-assessment tools provide an evaluation of effectiveness from the perspective of the patient rather than that of the provider. Together they provide a cost effective method for following patients for a protracted duration without their having to return to the office for repeated examinations.

Selected references

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