Validation of a new outcome measure for orthopaedic trauma inpatients
Background Functional performance is the most relevant outcome for trauma patients. Currently, no functional outcome measure for trauma inpatients exists. Objective To report on reliability and validity testing of a new functional outcome measure for orthopaedic trauma inpatients. Methodology Descriptive study conducted to test selected psychometric properties of the new Functional Scale for Trauma Inpatients at Rashid Hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A total of 100 eligible male and female orthopaedic trauma inpatients aged 17 years and older were consecutively sampled. Physiotherapists administered the new scale to eligible patients. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample. Internal consistency was assessed by calculating Cronbach's α statistics. Sensitivity to change was assessed using one-way analysis of variance. Results Eighty-eight per cent of the 100 eligible subjects were male (mean age 34.75 ± 14.46 years). Sixty-three per cent of the patients had trauma to the lower extremity. The Cronbach's α-values were good (range 0.76-0.97). There was a significant difference in the mean scores over three administrations of 'bed', 'out of bed' and 'activities of daily living (ADL)' activity items of Functional Scale for Trauma Inpatients (P = 0.0000). Floor effects were noted at discharge for 'bed activities' and at discharge for 'ADL activities'. The only ceiling effect was noted at admission for 'out of bed activities'. Conclusion The psychometric tests indicated that the tool is reliable, has sound internal consistency and has the ability to detect changes in functional performance of trauma inpatients. The scale fills an important need for physiotherapists working in trauma inpatient wards. Psychometric properties of the new scale should be tested in other countries. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.