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J Hand Ther. 2004 Jan-Mar;17(1):18-23.

Responsiveness of the disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) and patient-rated wrist/hand evaluation (PRWHE) in evaluating change after hand therapy.

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Health Research Personnel Development Program, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


A hand therapy clinic used a systematic process to select an outcome tool for routine use. After a literature review of available instruments, the choice had been narrowed to two instruments: the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) and the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PWRE). The PRWE was modified to attribute to the hand/wrist. A cohort of 60 patients (36 hand problems, 24 wrist problems) completed a DASH and PRWHE at their initial clinic visit and three months later. Standardized response means (SRMs) and effect sizes indicated a large treatment effect. The PRWHE had slightly higher responsiveness than the DASH (SRM=1.51 vs. 1.37). Because this level of responsiveness was obtained with fewer items, it was considered more efficient. A supplementary esthetics question was less responsive than either scale, but was thought to be an important option for selected patients. On completion of the trial period, the therapists unanimously selected the PRWHE with a supplemental esthetics question to be routinely used in measurement of outcomes.

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