Validity and Sensitivity to Change of Patient-Reported Pain and Disability Measures for Elbow Pathologies
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STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the internal consistency, concurrent construct validity, longitudinal validity, sensitivity to change, and factor structure of the Patient-Rated Elbow Evaluation form (PREE), the patient-reported form of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Elbow Questionnaire (pASES-e), and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH) in a diverse group of patients who had surgery for various elbow pathologies. BACKGROUND: Measuring functional outcomes after surgical procedures of the elbow requires valid patient-reported pain and disability questionnaires. The PREE, the pASES-e, and the DASH are commonly used questionnaires. There is, however, insufficient evidence available concerning their validity and sensitivity to change. METHODS: Data were prospectively collected from 128 patients (mean ± SD age, 46.5 ± 12.8 years) post-elbow surgery. Patients completed the PREE, the pASES-e, the DASH, and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey at baseline (first visit after surgery) and 6 months postsurgery. Concurrent construct validity, longitudinal validity, sensitivity to change, and factor structure were analyzed. RESULTS: Concurrent construct validity was demonstrated by confirmation of expected relationships; the strongest correlations were observed between the PREE pain score, the PREE total score, the pASES-e pain score, and the DASH score (r = 0.73-0.87). The pASES-e function score correlated the least with other constructs. Longitudinal validity demonstrated similar findings: the pASES-e pain change score and PREE change score were most strongly correlated, and the pASES-e function change score and DASH change score were moderately to weakly correlated. All 3 patient-reported questionnaires demonstrated a large effect size and standardized response means greater than 1.0. Structural validity was supported for the PREE (R2 = 77.2%, 4 factors) and the pASES-e (R2 = 74.4%, 4 factors), but not for the DASH (R2 = 71.3%, 5 factors). CONCLUSION: The PREE, the pASES-e, and the DASH have acceptable validity and sensitivity to change. The pASES-e function subscale is the least sensitive to change and is less correlated to other measures.
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