An outcome measure is the result of a test that is used to objectively determine the baseline function of a patient at the beginning of treatment. Once treatment has commenced, the same instrument can be used to determine progress and treatment efficacy. With the move towards Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in the health sciences, objective measures of outcome are important to provide credible and reliable justification for treatment. The instrument should also be convenient to apply for the therapist and comfortable for the patient.
Reliability, validity and responsiveness
The outcome measure should have been shown to test the particular aspect of function that it is reported to test (validity) and the results should be the same (or similar) regardless of who administers the test or when it is administered (reliability). Finally, the test or scale should actually be able to test change over time in whatever is being tested (responsiveness). The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists in the United Kingdom makes it clear that standardised outcome measures should be used routinely in normal practice:
"Taking account of the patient’s problems, a published, standardised, valid, reliable and responsive outcome measure is used to evaluate the change in the patient’s health status" (Core standards of physiotherapy practice, 2005).
Some outcome measures have been statistically tested to determine actual validity and reliability and it must be noted that some are more valid and reliable than others. Analysis should also be performed to determine if the change in score on the test is a result of the intervention (treatment), or not.
- Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score
- Bath Assessment of Walking Inventory
- Berg Balance Scale
- Brigham and Women's Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire
- Constant-Murley Shoulder Outcome Score
- DASH Outcome Measure
- Dynamic Gait Index
- 4-item Dynamic Gait Index
- Fear‐Avoidance Belief Questionnaire
- Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM)
- Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI)
- Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTOinc)
- Functional Ability Description Tool
- Foot Posture Index (FP1-6)
- Foot Function Index (FFI)
- Functional Gait Assessment
- Gartland and Werley Score
- Geriatric Self-Efficacy Index for Urinary Incontinence
- Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score
- Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score
- Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS)
- Neck Disability Index
- Neck Pain and Disability Scale
- Oswestry Disability Index
- Ottawa Knee Rules
- Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I)
- Paient Global Impression of Severity (PGI-S)
- Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory (PFDI-20)
- Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire (PFIQ-7)
- Pelvic Girdle Questionnaire (PGQ)
- Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke
- PRWE Score
- Roland‐Morris Disability Questionnaire
- Short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ-2)
- Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM)
- The Assessment of Pain and Occupational Performance
- Timed Up and Go Test (TUG)
Orthopaedic Scores: a free outcome measure calculation service for certain orthopaedic OMs.
Regis University site for outcomes information: This is an excellent site that includes analysis of practice forms, outcome measures and the evidence for a variety of clinical topics. At the very bottom you will find the “health assessment outcomes indicators”, an 80+ page document that gives an overview of MANY outcomes tools.
Rehabilitation measures database: developed to help clinicians and researchers identify reliable and valid instruments used to assess patient outcomes during all phases of rehabilitation.
Patient-Reported Health Instruments: includes over 8,600 records with keyword search capability.
Clinical measurement instruments: from Centre for Evidence Based Physiotherapy.
PROQOLID Quality of life instruments database: lists 1,000 Patient Reported Outcomes questionnaires and provides detailed information on over 300 either generic or specific measures.
StrokeEngine Assess: provides information on outcome measures related to Stroke.