Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 132, Issue 6, pp 831–837 | Cite as

Development of a score set to measure function and quality of life in patients suffering from elbow pathology

  • I. S. L. Liem
  • C. KollingEmail author
  • M. Marks
  • R. G. H. H. Nelissen
  • J. Goldhahn
Orthopaedic Outcome Assessment



Daily function plays an important role in the quality of life for patients suffering from pathology of the upper extremity. The recovery of functions of daily living determines the success or failure of the treatment for the patient. The goal of this study was to establish and validate a score set measuring quality of life, and objective and subjective function in general elbow pathologies.


A literature review was performed, in order to find a patient-based elbow specific questionnaire. The score set was tested and validated in a cross-sectional setting.


The patient-rated elbow evaluation (PREE) was chosen as the patient-based elbow specific questionnaire. For measuring general health and subjective arm function, the short form-36 mental health (SF-36 MH) and the shortened disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand questionnaire (quick DASH) were chosen, respectively. To measure objective function, several clinical tests were implemented. The score set was tested in 66 patients, of which 56.1% had function restrictions due to pain. The correlation between the PREE-function and quick DASH was found to be the highest (r = 0.74*). Between the PREE and quick DASH, the correlation was good (r = 0.70*) and between the PREE-pain and quick DASH, the correlation was moderate (r = 0.58*). The lowest correlation (r = 0.18) was found between the PREE and SF-36 MH (*p < 0.01).


General health, subjective and objective function can be measured in elbow pathology patients using a score set containing the SF-36 MH, quick DASH, PREE, and several clinical tests. Further testing of the score set needs to be executed in a prospective study.


Elbow pathology Patient-reported outcome Validity PREE Quick DASH 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. S. L. Liem
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Kolling
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Marks
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. G. H. H. Nelissen
    • 2
  • J. Goldhahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Research and Development, Upper ExtremitiesSchulthess KlinikZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of OrthopedicsLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands

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