Development and validation of an outcome measure for orthopaedic trauma inpatients
Introduction In clinical physiotherapy, there is a growing importance for the accuracy and reliability of assessment and outcome measures. The purpose of this study is to develop a valid outcome measure for orthopaedic trauma inpatients. Item generation was done by conducting a systematic review of published functional outcome measures and patients' interview. Item reduction was conducted by using a panel of physiotherapists and patients. Objectives The overall study objectives were: 1) To determine if a functional outcome measurement scale for trauma inpatients exists and has been published; 2) To generate functional items for the construction of a new outcome measurement tool for trauma inpatients; 3) To construct a new outcome measurement tool for trauma inpatients and assess elements of validity and reliability (face and content validity, response to change, internal consistency and floor and ceiling effects) of the new developed outcome measure. Methodology Convenience sampling was applied to collect data from 35 trauma inpatients in trauma wards at Rashid Hospital in Dubai, UAE. 88% of the trauma inpatients were male (total sample n= 100), mean age =34.75, and the standard deviation = 14.46. 21 functional activity items were generated from the collated results of the patient interviews. Internal consistency reliability, responsiveness and floor and ceiling effect were assessed. Data analysis was conducted using Statistica Version 7. Results The final number of functional activity items included in the newly developed Functional Scale outcome measure was 29 activity items relevant for trauma inpatients. A Cronbach's alpha ranged between 0.76 and 0.97. The lowest alpha result was for the 'ADL' activities at follow-up (0.76). The highest alpha result was for 'out of bed' activity at admission and discharge (0.97). The response to change of the Functional Scale for trauma inpatients over time results illustrates that there was a significant difference in the mean scores over three administrations of 'Bed', 'Out of bed' and 'ADL' activity items of Functional Scale for trauma inpatients (p=O.OOOO). In general, there was no significant floor and ceiling effects at admission or discharge for 'bed', 'out of bed' and 'ADL' activities, except there was a floor effect noted at discharge for 'bed' activities and 'ADL' activities, and a ceiling effect noted at admission for 'out of bed activities' only. Discussion and Conclusion The newly developed Functional Scale outcome measurement for trauma inpatients has been shown to be internally consistent and appears to be valid with respect to response to change in this sample of trauma inpatients. The results of this study thus suggest that the Functional Scale for trauma inpatients may be an appropriate tool when the goal is the assessment of change in disability functions in trauma inpatients, although further psychometric testing may be required.