OBJECTIVES: Current musculoskeletal outcome tools are fragmented across different healthcare settings and conditions. Our objectives were to develop and validate a single musculoskeletal outcome measure for use throughout the pathway and patients with different musculoskeletal conditions: the Arthritis Research UK Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ). SETTING: A consensus workshop with stakeholders from across the musculoskeletal community, workshops and individual interviews with a broad mix of musculoskeletal patients identified and prioritised outcomes for MSK-HQ inclusion. Initial psychometric validation was conducted in four cohorts from community physiotherapy, and secondary care orthopaedic hip, knee and shoulder clinics. PARTICIPANTS: Stakeholders (n=29) included primary care, physiotherapy, orthopaedic and rheumatology patients (n=8); general practitioners, physiotherapists, orthopaedists, rheumatologists and pain specialists (n=7), patient and professional national body representatives (n=10), and researchers (n=4). The four validation cohorts included 570 participants (n=210 physiotherapy, n=150 hip, n=150 knee, n=60 shoulder patients). OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcomes included the MSK-HQ's acceptability, feasibility, comprehension, readability and responder burden. The validation cohort outcomes were the MSK-HQ's completion rate, test-retest reliability and convergent validity with reference standards (EQ-5D-5L, Oxford Hip, Knee, Shoulder Scores, and the Keele MSK-PROM). RESULTS: Musculoskeletal domains prioritised were pain severity, physical function, work interference, social interference, sleep, fatigue, emotional health, physical activity, independence, understanding, confidence to self-manage and overall impact. Patients reported MSK-HQ items to be 'highly relevant' and 'easy to understand'. Completion rates were high (94.2%), with scores normally distributed, and no floor/ceiling effects. Test-retest reliability was excellent, and convergent validity was strong (correlations 0.81-0.88). CONCLUSIONS: A new musculoskeletal outcome measure has been developed through a coproduction process with patients to capture prioritised outcomes for use throughout the pathway and with different musculoskeletal conditions. Four validation cohorts found that the MSK-HQ had high completion rates, excellent test-retest reliability and strong convergent validity with reference standards. Further validation studies are ongoing, including a cohort with rheumatoid/inflammatory arthritis.
Cohort studies, Outcome Assessment, Questionnaires, Validation studies, Adult, Aged, Cohort Studies, Consensus, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Musculoskeletal Diseases, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Pain Management, Physical Therapy Modalities, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Severity of Illness Index, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom