Guide to Selecting Outcome Measures

The following questions are intended to guide clinicians in selecting the correct outcome measures for their patients[1]

Why Am I Using the Outcome Measure?

  • Identifying the impact of a disorder on an individual?
  • Establishing a baseline measure from which to monitor changes over time?
  • Evaluating the impact of an intervention?
  • Evaluating the needs of those attending a service?

What Am I Aiming to Measure?

  • Impairments of body structure and function?
  • Activity limitations?
  • Participation restrictions?
  • Quality of life?

Have the Clinimetric Properties of this Tool Been Measured in a Population Similar to Mine? Consider:

  • Do the study samples have the same condition?
  • Is the study sample similar in disease severity?
  • Is the study sample similar in disease-specific factors?

Is the Outcome Measure Reliable?

  • Do I know the rate of error detected with scores?
  • Do I know the minimum detectable change?

Is the Outcome Measure Valid?

  • Does it measure what I want it to measure?

Is the Outcome Measure Responsive to Change?

  • Is there a known minimum clinically important difference?

Financial Considerations

  • What is the cost of this test?
  • Is a licence required?
  • Is equipment required?

Therapist Implementation

  • Is the measure easy for a clinician to conduct?
  • Is special training required/available?
  • Are there clear standardised instructions on how to carry out and score the measure?
  • How long does it take to carry out the measure?
  • How long does it take to record results?

Resources

  • Is special equipment or are special forms required?
  • Is space sufficient for this measure to be carried out?

Client

  • How much time does it take for the person to complete?
  • Is the task difficult?
  • Is privacy required?

Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROM)

  • Is face-to-face contact required or can this measure be completed in the waiting room?
  • Does the questionnaire cover sensitive personal issues?
  • Is there a specific reading level required?
  • Is the measure available in other languages?

References

  1. Iansek R, & Morris ME (Eds.) (2013). Rehabilitation in movement disorders. Cambridge University Press.