0
Scientific Articles   |    
Pain Dominates Measurements of Elbow Function and Health Status
Job N. Doornberg, MS1; David Ring, MD1; Lauren M. Fabian, BA1; Leah Malhotra, BA1; David Zurakowski, PhD2; Jesse B. Jupiter, MD1
1 Massachusetts General Hospital, Yawkee Center, Suite 2100, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail address for D. Ring: dring@partners.org
2 Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
View Disclosures and Other Information
In support of their research or preparation of this manuscript, one or more of the authors received grants or outside funding from the AO Foundation (unrestricted grant), Joint Active Systems, Fulbright Scholarship, and Dutch Anna Fonds Scholarship. None of the authors received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at the Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2005 Aug 01;87(8):1725-1731. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.D.02745
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case

Abstract

Background: Elbow function can be quantified with use of physician-based elbow-rating systems and health status questionnaires. Our hypothesis was that pain has a strong influence on these scores, which overwhelms the influence of objective factors such as motion.

Methods: One hundred and four patients were evaluated, at a minimum of six months (average, forty-six months) after the latest surgery for an intra-articular fracture of the elbow, with use of three physician-based evaluation instruments (Mayo Elbow Performance Index [MEPI], Broberg and Morrey rating system, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Elbow Evaluation Instrument [ASES]), an upper-extremity-specific health status questionnaire (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand [DASH]), and a general health status questionnaire (Short Form-36 [SF-36]). Multivariate analysis of variance and regression modeling were used to identify the factors that account for the variability in scores derived with these measures—in other words, which factors have the strongest influence on the final score.

Results: Pain alone accounted for 66% of the variability in the MEPI scores, 59% of the variability in the Broberg and Morrey scores, and 57% of the variability in the ASES scores. Models that included other factors accounted for only slightly more variability (73%, 79%, and 79%, respectively), and those that did not include pain accounted for only 22%, 41%, and 41% of the variability. Thirty-six percent of the variability in the DASH scores could be accounted for by pain alone, and 45% could be accounted for by pain and range of motion. Models not including pain accounted for only 17% of the variability in the DASH scores.

Conclusions: Pain has a very strong influence on both physician-rated and patient-rated quantitative measures of elbow function. Consequently, these measures may be strongly influenced by the psychosocial aspects of illness that have a strong relationship with pain, and objective measures of elbow function such as mobility may be undervalued. It may be advisable to evaluate pain separately from objective measures of elbow function in physician-based elbow ratings.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

     
    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org

    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe





    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    06/29/2012
    PA - Thomas Jefferson University
    10/12/2011
    NY - Modern Chiropractic Care, P.C.
    03/19/2014
    MA - The University of Massachusetts Medical School
    04/16/2014
    GA - Choice Care Occupational Medicine & Orthopaedics