Psychometric properties of self-reported questionnaires for the evaluation of symptoms and functional limitations in individuals with rotator cuff disorders: a systematic review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review of the psychometric properties (reliability, validity and responsiveness) of self-report questionnaires used to assess symptoms and functional limitations of individuals with rotator cuff (RC) disorders. METHODS: A systematic search in three databases (Cinahl, Medline and Embase) was conducted. Data extraction and critical methodological appraisal were performed independently by three raters using structured tools, and agreement was achieved by consensus. A descriptive synthesis was performed. RESULTS: One-hundred and twenty articles reporting on 11 questionnaires were included. All questionnaires were highly reliable and responsive to change, and showed construct validity; seven questionnaires also shown known-group validity. The minimal detectable change ranged from 6.4% to 20.8% of total score; only two questionnaires (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon questionnaire [ASES] and Upper Limb Functional Index [ULFI]) had a measurement error below 10% of global score. Minimal clinically important differences were established for eight questionnaires, and ranged from 8% to 20% of total score. CONCLUSION: Overall, included questionnaires showed acceptable psychometric properties for individuals with RC disorders. The ASES and ULFI have the smallest absolute error of measurement, while the Western Ontario RC Index is one of the most responsive questionnaires for individuals suffering from RC disorders. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: All included questionnaires are reliable, valid and responsive for the evaluation of individuals with RC disorders. As all included questionnaires showed good psychometric properties for the targeted population, the choice should be made according to the purpose of the evaluation and to the construct being evaluated by the questionnaire. The WORC, a RC-specific questionnaire, appeared to be more responsive. It should therefore be used to evaluate change in time. If the evaluation is time-limited, shorter questionnaires or short versions should be considered (such as Quick DASH or SST).


  • St-Pierre, Corinne
  • Desmeules, François
  • Dionne, Clermont E
  • Frémont, Pierre
  • MacDermid, Joy
  • Roy, Jean-Sébastien

publication date

  • January 16, 2016