Outcomes assessment in hand surgery: When are they meaningful?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Hand surgeons currently are challenged with the task of measuring and establishing the connection between the diagnosis and treatment of health-related quality-of-life problems. Although true quality of life cannot be measured directly, instruments in the form of questionnaires have been developed that use self-reporting to account for functional performance, health status, and health-related quality of life. Instruments must be reliable, valid, responsive, and appropriate. Misunderstanding these properties often hinders interpreting the recent stream of outcome studies in the literature. Most physicians are not sure what if any outcome information should be collected routinely or if any outcome instrument is diagnostically useful. Currently there is no convincing evidence to support the routine use of patient-based outcome measures in hand surgeons' practices. Those hand surgeons who would like to carry out an outcome study should consider seeking help from others with expertise in outcomes design and analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1002
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Generic, domain, and disease specific
  • Health status questionnaires
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Outcome instruments
  • Outcome studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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