Responsiveness of the short form-36, disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand questionnaire, patient-rated wrist evaluation, and physical impairment measurements in evaluating recovery after a distal radius fracture.
We evaluated the responsiveness of patient questionnaires and physical testing in the assessment of recovery after distal radius fracture. Patients (n = 59) were assessed at their baseline clinic visit and again 3 and 6 months after injury. At each visit patients completed a short form-36, Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, and patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE). At 3 and 6 months grip strength, range of motion, and dexterity were analyzed. Standardized response means (SRM) and effects sizes were calculated to indicate responsiveness. The PRWE was the most responsive. Both the PRWE (SRM = 2.27) and the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (SRM = 2.01) questionnaire were more responsive than the short form-36 (SRM = 0.92). The physical component summary score of the short form-36 was similar to that of the physical component subscales. Questionnaires were highly responsive during the 0- to 3-month time period when physical testing could not be performed. Of the physical tests, grip strength was most responsive, followed by range of motion. Responsive patient-rating scales and physical performance evaluations can assist with outcome evaluation of patients with distal radius fracture.