Vikki Wylde , Ian D Learmonth and Victoria J Cavendish
Academic Orthopaedic Unit, University of Bristol, Avon Orthopaedic Centre, Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol BS10 5NB UK
In the last 25 years, assessment of orthopaedic intervention has become patient focused, with the development of self-completion patient-centred outcome measures. The Oxford hip score (OHS) is a joint specific outcome measure tool designed to assess disability in patients undergoing total hip replacement (THR). Although the psychometric properties of the OHS have been rigorously examined, there is little research on the patient’s perspective of the OHS. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess whether the OHS is an adequate disability measure from the patient’s perspective using qualitative analysis of annotations written on the OHS by patients.
In total, 276 orthopaedic patients completed an OHS between April 2004 and May 2005. One hundred and fifty six pre-operative patients listed for a THR completed the OHS during a pre-admission assessment clinic, and 120 post-operative patients completed the OHS postally in the home setting. Patient’s unprompted annotations in response to the questions on the OHS were recorded and grouped into thematic categories.
In total, 46 (17%) patients made 52 annotations when completing the OHS. These annotations identified five main areas of difficulty that patients experienced: lack of question clarity (particularly concerning the use of aids), difficulty in reporting measurements of pain, restrictive and irrelevant questions, the influence of co-morbidities on responses, and double-barrelled questions.
Although the OHS is a useful short tool for the assessment of disability in patients undergoing THR, this study identified several problem areas that are applicable to patient-centred outcome tools in general. To overcome these current limitations, further work is underway to develop a more individualised patient-centred outcome measure of disability for use in patients with osteoarthritis.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2005, 3:66 doi:10.1186/1477-7525-3-66.