Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 469, Issue 6, pp 1750–1756 | Cite as

Can the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score Produce Reliable Results When Used Online?

Clinical Research

Abstract

Background

Web-based questionnaires have become popular, however, access to the Internet can be biased regarding age, gender, and education, among other factors. Therefore, it is unknown whether this is a reasonable avenue to administer a questionnaire to patients or whether Web-based can be a reliable alternative to paper-based.

Questions/purposes

We determined whether the Internet version of the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score is reproducible compared with the paper-based version and the compliance and completion rates.

Patients and Methods

The study population consisted of 81 adults who had had surgery for a musculoskeletal tumor of the lower extremity more than 12 months earlier. The Toronto Extremity Salvage Score was administered by paper at a baseline interview and then readministered via Internet 7 to 14 days later to those with access.

Results

Sixty of the 81 patients (74%) were able to use the Internet. Increasing age and lower education levels were correlated with a lower likelihood of using the Internet. Questionnaires were done online and on paper by 56 patients but 10 were excluded because of self-reported change in circumstances. The mean TESS was 85.7 (range, 41.1–100; SD, 17.26) for the paper-based questionnaire and 85.2 (range, 42.5–100; SD, 17.47) for the Internet-based questionnaire. The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.97.

Conclusions

The questionnaire can be transferred successfully to the Internet and can be used reliably instead of a paper-based instrument. Recruitment to use an Internet-based questionnaire is limited only by the percentage of patients able to access and use the Internet.

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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumaRoyal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Division of Health Care and Outcomes Research and Arthritis and Community Research and Evaluation Unit, Toronto Western Research InstituteUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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