Clinical Meaningfulness of an Outcome Measure

Original Editor - Ammar Suhail

Top Contributors - Ammar Suhail and Claire Knott  

Introduction

Outcome measures must be valid and reliable and assist us in interpreting change in our patients to have clinical meaning[1]. Clinical significance/meaningfulness is the practical importance of a treatment effect—whether it has a real genuine, palpable, noticeable effect on daily life. Clinical meaningfulness generally refers to an outcome measure’s ability to provide the clinician and the patient with consequential information[1]. It is a broad term which is usually described in the following terms for an outcome measure:

  • Floor and Ceiling Effect
  • Minimal Detectable Change (MDC)
  • Responsiveness
  • Minimal clinically important difference (MCID)

Floor and Ceiling Effect

Minimal Detectable Change (MDC)

Responsiveness

Minimal clinically important difference (MCID)

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fetters L, Tilson J. Evidence based physical therapy. FA Davis; 2012 May 5.