Letters to the Editor   |    
Bertram Zarins, MD1
1 Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryMassachusetts General Hospital55 Fruit Street, Yawkey Building 3021Boston, MA 02114 bzarins@partners.org
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The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2006 Feb 01;88(2):447-448
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B. Zarins replies:Dr. Anderson and Dr. Irrgang make excellent points in their critique of the editorial. Validated questionnaires are useful if applied correctly, and they are better than traditional methods of gathering subjective information from patients. The point of the editorial, however, was that the pendulum has swung too far. Validated questionnaires are being used independently as sole measures of outcomes and are sometimes applied inappropriately.Using health-related quality of life as the primary outcome measure of the success of a knee operation could lead to erroneous conclusions. Many factors influence the quality of life, most of which have nothing to do with the knee. To evaluate the result of a knee operation, I think we can get information that is more meaningful if we study the quality of knee function rather than the quality of life.
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