Background: Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common pathology and the aetiology is unknown. For valid and reliable assessment The Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment has designed a self-administered Achilles questionnaire, the VISA-A. The aim of the present study was to evaluate VISA-A as an outcome measure in patients with AT.
Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro, Web of Science, and Cochrane Controlled trials to identify trials using VISA-A for patients with AT. This was followed by data mining and analysis of the obtained data.
Results: Twenty-six clinical trials containing 1336 individuals were included. Overall mean VISA-A scores ranged from 24 (severe AT) to 100 (healthy). Mean VISA-A scores in patients with AT ranged from 24 to 96.6. Healthy subjects scored a minimum of 96. Only two groups of participants from two different studies had a post-VISA-A score as high as healthy individuals, indicating full recovery of the AT.
Conclusions: A VISA-A score lower than 24 is rarely attained in AT. Only few patients with AT reach an equivalent VISA-A score compared to uninjured healthy subjects following treatment. The VISA-A is a reliable tool when assessing AT patients, providing a good assessment of the actual condition from very poor, (score around 24) to excellent (a score of 90), which based on this systematic review and previous studies could be considered full recovery from AT.
Keywords: Achilles tendinopathy; VISA-A.; outcome measure; reliability.