A standardized method for the assessment of shoulder function

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1994 Nov;3(6):347-52. doi: 10.1016/S1058-2746(09)80019-0. Epub 2009 Feb 13.


The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons have adopted a standardized form for assessment of the shoulder. The form has a patient self-evaluation section and a physician assessment section. The patient self-evaluation section of the form contains visual analog scales for pain and instability and an activities of daily living questionnaire. The activities of daily living questionnaire is marked on a four-point ordinal scale that can be converted to a cumulative activities of daily living index. The patient can complete the self-evaluation portion of the questionnaire in the absence of a physician. The physician assessment section includes an area to collect demographic information and assesses range of motion, specific physical signs, strength, and stability. A shoulder score can be derived from the visual analogue scale score for pain (50%) and the cumulative activities of daily living score (50%). It is hoped that adoption of this instrument to measure shoulder function will facilitate communication between investigators, stimulate multicenter studies, and encourage validity testing of this and other available instruments to measure shoulder function and outcome.