Reliability of a patient-rated forearm evaluation questionnaire for patients with lateral epicondylitis
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PURPOSE: To determine the reliability of a questionnaire designed to assess forearm pain and function in patients with lateral epicondylitis. METHODS: Forty-seven patients with unilateral lateral epicondylitis completed a patient-related forearm evaluation questionnaire (PRFEQ) on two occasions. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC 2,1), standard error of measurement (SEM), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were determined for the whole group and for three subgroup comparisons of male vs. female subjects, subacute vs. chronic lateral epicondylitis, and work-related vs. non-work-related lateral epicondylitis. RESULTS: The test-retest reliability for the overall PRFEQ (ICC, 0.89), and its pain (ICC, 0.89) and function (ICC, 0.83) subscales was excellent. Test-retest reliability for patients with work-related lateral epicondylitis (ICC, 0.80) was significantly (p = 0.018) less than for patients with non-work-related lateral epicondylitis (ICC, 0.94). CONCLUSIONS: The PRFEQ can provide a simple, quick, and reliable estimate of arm pain and function in patients with lateral epicondylitis. However, large SEM and 95% CIs limit its ability to accurately predict individual scores.
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