A shoulder disorder affects a patient's overall quality of life. Self-report outcome measures can be used to assess the effects of shoulder dysfunction in terms of patients' functional limitations and disabilities. Selection of a shoulder-specific scale from the numerous scales available can be overwhelming. The purpose of this study was to review the self-report scales in current use for assessing the shoulder joint. A MEDLINE literature search was performed to locate scales appropriate to the assessment of function and disability of the shoulder. Only scales with established measurement properties were selected for review. Eleven scales were reviewed. Methodological and practical criteria were established to evaluate each scale. All scales met the minimal criteria, but not all scales were equal with regard to the criteria established for analysis.