Purpose: A patient-reported outcomes measure (PROM) is responsive if it is sensitive to clinical status changes. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is used to indicate meaningful change, helpful in designing studies and adding context to some study results, and is related to instrument responsiveness. Our purpose was to provide MCID estimates for the brief Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (bMHQ) and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) pain interference (PI) in a hand and upper extremity surgery cohort within the context of varying patient-reported mental health.
Methods: Data were analyzed from 1,262 adult patients who received surgical care at a single center between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. Patients completed PROMIS PI, PROMIS Global Health (including global mental health [GMH] component), bMHQ, and a pain-focused anchor question before each clinic visit. Data were collected 8 ± 2 weeks before and after surgery. A distribution-based MCID then was calculated for the general patient population, lowest 10th percentile of GMH scores, and top 10th percentile of GMH scores.
Results: Minimal clinically important difference estimates were 10.4 for the bMHQ and 4.3 for PROMIS PI. Analysis of MCID across different GMH score groups showed a mean score of 11.5 for bMHQ for the lowest 10th percentile of GMH, 9.6 for bMHQ for the top 10th percentile, 4.5 for PI for the lowest 10th percentile, and 4.9 for PI for the top 10th percentile.
Conclusions: Analysis of subgroups stratified by preoperative patient-reported mental health condition found that preoperative mental health status, as indicated by GMH score, does not have a meaningful impact on responsiveness of bMHQ or PROMIS PI.
Clinical relevance: A patient's reported mental health condition does not meaningfully change how these common PRO instruments reflect the patient condition after hand and upper extremity surgery.
Keywords: Brief Michigan Hand Questionnaire; minimal clinically important difference; pain interference; patient mental health; patient-reported outcomes.
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