A comparison of the PEDro and Downs and Black quality assessment tools using the acquired brain injury intervention literature

NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;32(1):95-102. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130826.


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the correlation between the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and the Downs and Black (D&B) quality assessment scale and the PEDro and a modified D&B assessment scores in a research synthesis of the ABI literature.

Methods and main outcomes: A systematic review of the literature from 1980-2007 was conducted looking at treatment interventions following an ABI published in peer-reviewed English language journals. Of the articles chosen for inclusion in the study, 165 were identified as randomised controlled trials (RCT). All RCTs were scored using two quality assessment tools: the PEDro and D&B quality assessment scales. Items from these two scales were compared to identify which questions addressed similar information.

Results: The association between the overall PEDro and D&B scores was moderately high (r = 0.71, p < 0.01) indicating a significant relationship between these two quality assessment tools. When considering the modified D&B scores, which contained a subset of questions deemed most comparable to the PEDro scale, the correlation between the two was also moderately high (r = 0.68, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Further analysis is required to investigate the strength of the relationship between these two scales in the assessment of RCTs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Treatment Outcome