Outcome instruments for the assessment of the upper extremity following trauma: a review
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Orthopaedic injuries are common among trauma patients and can result in long-term problems. Considerable data are available regarding functional outcomes following lower extremity trauma. There is, however, a paucity of data available for upper extremity trauma patients. Whilst currently available instruments appear to assess outcomes of relevance in trauma populations, the reliability, validity and responsiveness of these instruments have not been evaluated in the upper extremity trauma population. This paper reviews instruments designed for patient self-evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity, and instruments used in an orthopaedic trauma population to assess functional recovery following injury. The Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (MFA), Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (SMFA), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Shoulder Scale (ASES-s), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Elbow Scale (ASES-e), Patient Rated Elbow Evaluation (PREE), and the Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) were reviewed. Until research is published outlining the evaluation of assessment instruments in upper extremity orthopaedic populations, authors will need to conduct their own validation studies before investigating outcomes in specific trauma populations.
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