The Knee Society Short Form Reduces Respondent Burden in the Assessment of Patient-reported Outcomes

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Clin Orthop Relat Res


BACKGROUND: The patient's own evaluation of function and satisfaction is a fundamental component of assessing outcomes after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The new Knee Society Knee Score was introduced in 2012 and has been shown to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the outcome of TKA. This score combines an objective, physician-derived component and a patient-reported component to characterize the expectations, satisfaction, and functional activities of diverse lifestyles of contemporary patients undergoing TKA. However, in the routine clinical setting, the administration and scoring of outcome measures is often resource-intensive, as the expenditure of time and budget for outcome measurement increase with the length and complexity of the instrument used, and so a short-form assessment can help to reduce the burden the assessment of outcomes. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: The purposes of this study were (1) to develop a short-form version of the new Knee Society Knee Score; (2) to validate the short form against the full Knee Society Knee Score; and (3) to evaluate the responsiveness to treatment (TKA) of the new Knee Society short-form assessment. METHODS: To develop the short form, data from the sample of 497 patients recruited during validation of the original long form the new Knee Society Knee Score were used. The multicenter study was approved by the institutional review boards at 15 participating medical institutions within the United States and Canada. An analytic item reduction approach was applied simultaneously but separately to preoperative and postoperative patient-reported data to select a subset of items from the original form that had good measurement properties and closely reflected the scores obtained using the original form. RESULTS: Expectations and satisfaction were reflected by a single item in the newly developed short form compared with a total of five satisfaction and three expectation items in the long form. The functional activities subscale was reduced from 17 to six items. An excellent correlation was demonstrated between function scores derived from the functional activities subscale of the original long-form score (17 items) and the six-item short form (r = 0.97; p < 0.01). The sample mean difference between the two scores was less than 4 points with a SD of 6.7 points. The short form was capable of discriminating clinically different groups of patients before and after TKA with virtually the same estimated effect size as the original functional activities subscale of the new Knee Society Knee Score. CONCLUSIONS: The Knee Society Knee Score long form is still recommended for research studies and for more sensitive measurement of the outcomes of individual patients. However, for general clinical use with large patient populations, the short form is expected to improve the rate of patient completion while also being easier to administer. In this study, we found the short-form version of the Knee Society Knee Score to be practical, valid, reliable, and responsive for assessing the functional outcome of TKA.

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School of Medicine

Primary Department

Orthopedic Surgery