Validation Study of an Electronic Method of Condensed Outcomes Tools Reporting in Orthopaedics
Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) instruments are a vital source of data for evaluating the efficacy of medical treatments. Historically, outcomes instruments have been designed, validated, and implemented as paper-based questionnaires. The collection of paper-based outcomes information may result in patients becoming fatigued as they respond to redundant questions. This problem is exacerbated when multiple PRO measures are provided to a single patient. In addition, the management and analysis of data collected in paper format involves labor-intensive processes to score and render the data analyzable. Computer-based outcomes systems have the potential to mitigate these problems by reformatting multiple outcomes tools into a single, user-friendly tool.
The study aimed to determine whether the electronic outcomes system presented produces results comparable with the test-retest correlations reported for the corresponding orthopedic paper-based outcomes instruments.The study is designed as a crossover study based on consecutive orthopaedic patients arriving at one of two designated orthopedic knee clinics.Patients were assigned to complete either a paper or a computer-administered questionnaire based on a similar set of questions (Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, International Knee Documentation Committee form, 36-Item Short Form survey, version 1, Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale). Each patient completed the same surveys using the other instrument, so that all patients had completed both paper and electronic versions. Correlations between the results from the two modes were studied and compared with test-retest data from the original validation studies.The original validation studies established test-retest reliability by computing correlation coefficients for two administrations of the paper instrument. Those correlation coefficients were all in the range of 0.7 to 0.9, which was deemed satisfactory.
The present study computed correlation coefficients between the paper and electronic modes of administration. These correlation coefficients demonstrated similar results with an overall value of 0.86.On the basis of the correlation coefficients, the electronic application of commonly used knee outcome scores compare variably to the traditional paper variants with a high rate of test-retest correlation. This equivalence supports the use of the condensed electronic outcomes system and validates comparison of scores between electronic and paper modes.