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Functional outcomes of knee patients following physical therapy interventions

1 May 1997


Functional outcome studies are becoming more demanded today with the rising costs of healthcare. The purpose of this study was to determine if the Hughston Visual Analog Scale Knee (VAS ) Questionnaire and clinical measurements could provide valuable information concerning a patient's functional outcome. The study also compared scores of the Hughston VAS knee questionnaire to pain, range of motion, and perceived improvements for knee patients who required physical therapy interventions. Paired t-tests showed significant (p < .05) improvements in all variables between the patient's initial and discharge evaluations. Extension ROM showed a positive relationship with function, while the flexion ROM showed only a minor relationship to function.

Correlation coefficients revealed range of motion and pain to be unrelated. Pain exhibited the strongest relationship to the patient's perceived improvement and function.

In an attempt to determine if a shortened questionnaire could be used clinically, we looked at the correlations between the questions and the patient's overall functional score. It was found that patients would answer certain questions on their initial questionnaire and then answer entirely different questions on their final questionnaire. For the initial questionnaire, the questions answered were usually related to general activities such as going up or down stairs, sitting, etc, and questions that were sports related activities were answered "not applicable." The sports related questions were then generally answered on the final questionnaire and these differences created inconsistencies between the initial and discharge scores , I making them difficult to correlate. As a result, we chose I not to shorten the original Hughston VAS Knee Questionnaire to maintain the integrity of the scale for clinical interpretation.

We further divided the patients into injury groups in hopes that individual questions on the Hughston VAS Knee Questionnaire could predict a patient's knee diagnosis. The questions were not found to have predictive value.


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