A self-administered questionnaire was designed to assess the severity of symptoms related to and the functional status of the shoulder. It includes domains of global assessment, pain, daily activities, recreational and athletic activities, work, satisfaction, and areas for improvement. Each domain is graded separately and is weighted to arrive at the total score. The over-all scale and each domain were prospectively tested for validity, reliability, and responsiveness to clinical change.One hundred patients who were seen for evaluation of the shoulder were enrolled in the study. The validity of the scale was demonstrated by moderate-to-high correlation of the domains and individual questions of the Shoulder Rating Questionnaire with those of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2. Validity was supported further by significant correlation of the scores in each domain with the level of satisfaction in that domain and by significantly lower scores in domains that patients selected as areas important for improvement.The over-all scale and each domain were internally consistent (Cronbach alpha, 0.71 to 0.90). Reproducibility was evaluated by repeated administration of the questionnaire after a mean of three days to forty patients whose condition was clinically stable. Reproducibility of the over-all questionnaire and individual domains was excellent (Spearman-Brown index, 0.94 to 0.98). Individual questions were reproducible, with a weighted kappa value of more than 0.7 for each.Responsiveness was evaluated by comparison of the preoperative and postoperative scores of thirty patients who had a satisfactory result one year after an operation on the shoulder. The over-all Shoulder Rating Questionnaire and each domain were responsive to clinical change as demonstrated by favorable standardized response means (range, 1.1 to 1.9) and indices of responsiveness (range, 1.1 to 2.0). Similar analysis performed for individual diagnostic groups supported the validity, reliability, and responsiveness of the questionnaire in each group.The self-administered shoulder questionnaire was found to be valid, reliable, and responsive to clinical change. These qualities should make it a useful instrument for the prospective assessment of the outcome of treatment of disorders related to the shoulder.