Purpose: To determine the relationship between functional disability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in rotator cuff tear (RCT) patients.
Method: In 67 RCT patients (mean age, 54 years; 57% males), functional disability was self-reported with the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES), HRQoL with the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), and pain by visual analogue scale. ASES results were divided into tertiles (12-38, 39-51, and 52-82).
Results: Mean ASES score was 48 (range, 12-82). Patients with the highest functional disability and highest pain level had the lowest HRQoL. For the highest, middle, and lowest ASES categories, respectively, mean SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) scores were 35 SD 5, 36 SD 8, and 41 SD 6 (p< 0.001) (r = 0.47 for ASES vs. PCS; p< 0.001), and Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores were 50 SD 13, 56 SD 10, and 58 SD 8 (p = 0.011) (r = 0.37 for ASES vs. MCS; p= 0.003).
Conclusions: Patients with higher functional disability had lower HRQoL. RCT extensively affects patients' lives; therefore, capturing both generic and shoulder-specific measures of RCT problems is recommended.