Objective: To develop and validate a disease-specific, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) index for patients with meniscal pathology. Our hypothesis was that the Western Ontario Meniscal Evaluation Tool (WOMET) would provide adequate reliability, validity, and responsiveness in measuring HRQOL in patients with meniscal tears or who have undergone meniscal repair or resection.
Study design: Validation of a measurement tool.
Setting: A tertiary, university-affiliated, sport medicine clinic.
Participants: A methodological protocol based on that of Guyatt et al was used to develop the Western Ontario Meniscal Evaluation Tool (WOMET). Patients with meniscal symptomology and in whom magnetic resonance imaging had suggested meniscal pathology were selected from referrals to a sport medicine clinic. Using this cohort, the development of the WOMET proceeded through item generation, reduction, and instrument pretesting. A second cohort of postarthroscopy patients with confirmed meniscal pathology was used to assess the reliability of the WOMET and validate the instrument.
Results: The final instrument has 16 items representing the domains of physical symptoms (nine items), sports/recreation/work/lifestyle (four items), and emotions (three items). It demonstrated adequate content and construct validity when compared with other measures. Test-retest reliability was assessed and was found to be high, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.833. The new instrument was also found to be more responsive than other knee measurement tools when assessed in the same cohort.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: The WOMET is a disease-specific tool designed to evaluate HRQOL in patients with meniscal pathology. It is therefore put forth as a validated measurement tool to be used in clinical trials evaluating treatments for meniscal pathology. It could also be used as a prospective outcome measure in research or in clinical practice.