Validating the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) computerized adaptive tests for upper extremity fracture care

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2018 Jul;27(7):1191-1197. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2018.01.014. Epub 2018 Mar 19.


Background: Computerized adaptive testing (CAT) for patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is a developing area within orthopedic surgery. Our objective was to validate the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) CATs for upper extremity fracture care. We sought to correlate PROMIS with legacy PROs and to investigate floor and ceiling effects.

Methods: Patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of upper extremity trauma were prospectively enrolled. Legacy PROs included the visual analog scale for pain, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire, the University of California-Los Angeles Shoulder Rating Scale, the Mayo Elbow Performance Score, and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. PROMIS CATs included Physical Function (PROMIS PF), PROMIS Pain Interference (PROMIS Pain), and PROMIS Upper Extremity (PROMIS UE). Correlations between the PROs were calculated as were the absolute and relative floor and ceiling effect.

Results: The study prospectively enrolled 174 patients with upper extremity trauma. There was moderate to high correlation between PROMIS UE CAT and legacy upper extremity-specific PROs (ρ = 0.42-0.79), and high correlation between the PROMIS PF CAT and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary (ρ = 0.71, P < .001). The visual analog scale for pain, University of California-Los Angeles Shoulder Rating Scale, Constant Score, and Mayo Elbow Score demonstrated a significant absolute ceiling effect (20.5%-23.7%), whereas the PROMIS PF, PROMIS UE, and PROMIS Pain CATs demonstrated no absolute ceiling effect.

Conclusion: PROMIS PF, Pain, and UE correlate well with legacy PROs in a upper extremity trauma population, with less absolute floor or ceiling effects. This study provides preliminary evidence for the utility of PROMIS CATs in upper extremity trauma patients.

Keywords: Patient reported outcomes; ceiling effect; computerized adaptive testing; floor effect; open reduction internal fixation; outcome score validation; upper extremity trauma.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arm Injuries / complications
  • Arm Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Arm Injuries / surgery
  • Computers
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Humans
  • Information Systems
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Open Fracture Reduction
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Upper Extremity / injuries*
  • Young Adult