THE USE OF OUTCOME MEASURES IN PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION WITHIN EUROPE
Rachel Haigh, Alan Tennant, Fin Biering-Sørensen, Gunnar Grimby, Crt MarinCek, Suzanne Phillips, Haim Ring, Luigi Tesio, Jean-Louis Thonnard
The aim of the study was to survey the use of outcome measures in rehabilitation within Europe. It was envisaged that this would provide the basis for further studies on the cross-cultural validity of outcome measures. A postal questionnaire was distributed in November 1998 to 866 units providing rehabilitation. In total, 418 questionnaires were returned, corresponding to a response rate of 48%. These 418 centres treated an estimated 113000 patients annually, undertaking 360000 assessments. The survey focused on nine diagnostic groups: hip and knee replacement, low back pain, lower limb amputees, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord lesions, stroke and traumatic brain injury. It identified a relatively small number of dominant outcome assessments for each diagnostic group and some variation in the preference for measures across regions. A large number of measures, however, are being used in one or a small number of locations and with relatively few patients. For rehabilitation of orthopaedic patients the majority of assessments undertaken are at the impairment level. For patients with neurological disorders the emphasis is mostly upon measures of disability.