Evaluation of Version 2.0 of the PROMIS Upper Extremity Computer Adaptive Test in Nonshoulder Upper Extremity Patients

J Hand Surg Am. 2019 Apr;44(4):267-273. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2019.01.008. Epub 2019 Feb 26.


Purpose: The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Upper Extremity Computer Adaptive Test (UE CAT) was recently updated to version 2.0 (v2.0). We hypothesized that the PROMIS UE CAT v2.0 would exhibit improved performance characteristics compared with the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) when administered to a nonshoulder upper extremity patient population.

Methods: The UE CAT v2.0, Physical Function (PF) CAT v2.0, and the QuickDASH were each prospectively administered via tablet computer to all patients presenting to a tertiary hand and upper extremity clinic between April 2017 and October 2017. Patient responses were analyzed, and the mean, range, floor and ceiling effect, and correlations between instruments were calculated.

Results: Among 825 patients, the mean UE CAT v2.0 score was 38.3 (SD 10.7) with a range of 15 to 61 and interquartile range of 15.4. The UE CAT v2.0 had a strong correlation with the QuickDASH (r = -0.749) and the PF CAT v2.0 (r = 0.719). No patient scored between 56 and 60, indicating a gap in scoring in that range. The UE CAT v2.0 demonstrated a floor effect of 1%, a ceiling effect of 6.9%, and a high internal consistency with a Cronbach alpha of 0.99.

Conclusions: The PROMIS UE CAT v2.0 demonstrated improved ceiling effects, range, and a decreased gap in scoring compared with prior versions. Limitations of the PROMIS UE CAT v2.0 are still present, but updates have led to an incremental improvement over prior versions, demonstrating the ability to influence PROMIS instrument performance through upgrades.

Clinical relevance: The updated PROMIS UE CAT v2.0 still demonstrates a ceiling effect and gap in scores at the upper end of the instrument, both of which may limit discrimination between different levels of upper extremity function for high-functioning patients.

Keywords: Computerized adaptive test; Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS); QuickDASH (qDASH); physical function; upper extremity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Computers, Handheld
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology*