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Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2004 Aug;47(6):389-95.

[Measurement of shoulder disability in the athlete: a systematic review].

[Article in French]

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Service de rééducation et de réadaptation de l'appareil locomoteur et des pathologies du rachis, hôpital Cochin, assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, université René-Descartes, 75014 Paris, France.



To identify all available shoulder disability questionnaires and to examine those that could be used for athlete.


We systematically reviewed the literature in Medline using the keywords shoulder, function, scale, index, score, questionnaire, disability, quality of life, assessment, and evaluation. We searched for scales used for athletes with the keywords scale name AND (sport OR athlete). Data were completed by using the "Guide des Outils de Mesure et d'Evaluation en Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation" textbook. Analysis took into account the clinimetric quality of the instruments and the number of items specifically related to sports.


A total of 37 instruments have been developed to measure disease-, shoulder-specific or upper extremity specific outcome. Older instruments were developed before the advent of modern measurement methods. They usually combined objective and subjective measures. Recent instruments were designed with use of more advanced methods. Most are self-administered questionnaires. Fourteen scales included items assessing sport activity. Four of these scales have been used to assess shoulder disability in athlete. Six scales have been used to assess such disability but do not have specific items related to sports.


There is no gold standard for assessing shoulder outcome in the general population and no validated outcome instruments specifically for athletes. We suggest the use of ASES, WOSI and WORC scales for evaluating shoulder function in the recreational athletes. The DASH scale should be evaluated in this population. The principal criterion in evaluating shoulder function in the high level athlete is a return to the same level of sport performance. Further studies are required to identify measurement tools for shoulder disability that have a high predictive value for return to sport.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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