Identification of shoulder-specific patient acceptable symptom state in patients with rheumatic diseases undergoing shoulder surgery

J Hand Ther. Jan-Mar 2011;24(1):53-60; quiz 61. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2010.10.006.


Study design: Clinical measurement study with a longitudinal design.

Objective: Estimate Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) thresholds in six shoulder outcome measures and two pain scales.

Methods: Patients with rheumatic diseases undergoing shoulder surgery were assessed at baseline and one-year follow-up (with Bostrom Shoulder Movement Impairment Scale, Constant, Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand [DASH], Oxford Shoulder Score [Oxford], Shoulder Function Assessment Scale, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index [Spadi], and two visual analog pain scales [VAS]). PASS thresholds were estimated using the 75th percentile and the receiver operating characteristic curve approach.

Results: One hundred patients were included; 74 (74%) patients considered their shoulder function to be acceptable (PASS+), which was significantly associated with being female, odds ratio (OR) 4.54, and having better functional status (Health Assessment Questionnaire), OR 0.17 (p<0.05). Activity-related pain (VAS), the Oxford, and the Spadi showed best discriminative accuracy for PASS. All measures estimated changes exceeding the minimal clinical important difference.

Conclusion: The Oxford and the Spadi showed better discriminant ability for PASS than the more commonly used Constant score and the DASH. The PASS thresholds for pain showed that patients accepted less pain at rest than during activity, underlining the importance of assessing both aspects of pain.

Level of evidence: 3. Diagnostic study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Rheumatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Rheumatic Diseases / surgery*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires