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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2012;20 Suppl 1:S59-63. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-08-S59.

Measurement of functional outcomes in the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC).

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Department of Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Measurement of functional outcome is a central tool in the assessment of the human and economic consequences of trauma. As such, functional outcome is the ideal basis against which to judge the efficacy of surgical approaches, drugs, and devices in the context of evidence-based medicine. A well-designed outcome measurement plan improves the validity of clinical research, facilitates the optimal use of limited research resources, and maximizes opportunities for future secondary data analyses. However, a key challenge in the development of a study measurement plan is the identification of appropriate, practical, well-validated measures. The Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC) is a large 5-year research effort to develop and conduct multicenter clinical studies relevant to the treatment and outcomes of orthopaedic trauma. METRC is funded to conduct nine clinical studies. One of the main goals is to benefit from the consortium approach by standardizing data collection across these studies. METRC investigators have developed a standard set of measurement instruments designed to examine outcomes across a defined set of key domains: complications, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, activity and participation, health-related quality of life, patient satisfaction, and healthcare utilization. In addition, METRC investigators have developed a standard set of sociodemographic and clinical covariates to be collected across all studies.

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