Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 473, Issue 1, pp 311–317 | Cite as

The PROMIS Physical Function Correlates With the QuickDASH in Patients With Upper Extremity Illness

  • Celeste L. Overbeek
  • Sjoerd P. F. T. Nota
  • Prakash Jayakumar
  • Michiel G. Hageman
  • David Ring
Clinical Research



To assess disability more efficiently with less burden on the patient, the National Institutes of Health has developed the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function—an instrument based on item response theory and using computer adaptive testing (CAT). Initially, upper and lower extremity disabilities were not separated and we were curious if the PROMIS Physical Function CAT could measure upper extremity disability and the Quick Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (QuickDASH).


We aimed to find correlation between the PROMIS Physical Function and the QuickDASH questionnaires in patients with upper extremity illness. Secondarily, we addressed whether the PROMIS Physical Function and QuickDASH correlate with the PROMIS Depression CAT and PROMIS Pain Interference CAT instruments. Finally, we assessed factors associated with QuickDASH and PROMIS Physical Function in multivariable analysis.


A cohort of 93 outpatients with upper extremity illnesses completed the QuickDASH and three PROMIS CAT questionnaires: Physical Function, Pain Interference, and Depression. Pain intensity was measured with an 11-point ordinal measure (0–10 numeric rating scale). Correlation between PROMIS Physical Function and the QuickDASH was assessed. Factors that correlated with the PROMIS Physical Function and QuickDASH were assessed in multivariable regression analysis after initial bivariate analysis.


There was a moderate correlation between the PROMIS Physical Function and the QuickDASH questionnaire (r = −0.55, p < 0.001). Greater disability as measured with the PROMIS and QuickDASH correlated most strongly with PROMIS Depression (r = −0.35, p < 0.001 and r = 0.34, p < 0.001 respectively) and Pain Interference (r = −0.51, p < 0.001 and r = 0.74, p < 0.001 respectively). The factors accounting for the variability in PROMIS scores are comparable to those for the QuickDASH except that the PROMIS Physical Function is influenced by other pain conditions while the QuickDASH is not.


The PROMIS Physical Function instrument may be used as an upper extremity disability measure, as it correlates with the QuickDASH questionnaire, and both instruments are influenced most strongly by the degree to which pain interferes with achieving goals.

Level of Evidence

Level III, diagnostic study. See the Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Item Response Theory Numeric Rating Scale Pain Interference Worker Compensation Patient Report Outcome Measurement Information System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celeste L. Overbeek
    • 1
  • Sjoerd P. F. T. Nota
    • 1
  • Prakash Jayakumar
    • 1
  • Michiel G. Hageman
    • 1
  • David Ring
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Hand and Upper Extremity ServiceMassachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Orthopaedic AssociatesYawkey Center for Outpatient CareBostonUSA

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