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OBJECTIVE: To provide a responsiveness analysis of the self-report and therapist-rated upper extremity functional outcome measures used in a rehabilitation trial. METHODS: A variety of commonly used therapist-assessed and self-report structural impairment and functional outcome measures were compared for the ability to detect and measure change in wrist and hand status in an early rheumatoid arthritis population over 12 months. Responsiveness was measured using the standardized response mean (SRM) and effect size (ES). RESULTS: The most responsive measures were the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (SRM 0.49 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.27, 0.72], ES = 0.37 [95% CI 0.21, 0.54]), dominant metacarpophalangeal joint ulnar deviation (SRM 0.46 [95% CI 0.27, 0.65], ES = 0.58 [95% CI 0.34, 0.82]), and mean power handgrip test (SRM 0.45 [95% CI 0.26, 0.64], ES = 0.32 [95% CI 0.18, 0.45]) The least responsive measure was the Health Assessment Questionnaire (SRM -0.12 [95% CI -0.31, 0.08], ES = -0.08 [95% CI -0.21, 0.05]). CONCLUSION: Over 12 months, there was substantial variation in wrist and hand outcome measures to detect change over time in an early RA population. Careful consideration is required to choose the most appropriate measure that can detect change.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis care res (hoboken)

Publication Date





274 - 278


Aged, Arm, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Female, Hand, Hand Strength, Humans, Male, Metacarpophalangeal Joint, Middle Aged, Range of Motion, Articular, Rheumatology, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome, Wrist