Development of a clinical tool and patient questionnaire for evaluation of patellofemoral pain syndrome patients

Clin J Sport Med. 1996 Jul;6(3):163-70. doi: 10.1097/00042752-199607000-00005.


Objective: To develop an evaluation tool for patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) patients.

Design: Exploratory, descriptive content validation study.

Participants: Convenience sample, three groups of clinicians: 15 sports physical therapists, 9 sports medicine physicians, and 10 physical therapists and physicians with limited experience with PFPS. Selection based on specialization qualifications and experience with PFPS patients. DESCRIPTION OF TESTS: Content validation questionnaire to determine importance of clinical outcomes in determining change in PFPS patients. Using 10-cm visual analogue scales, reviewers rated the importance of five domains and rated the importance of twenty-one clinical tests; using a categorical scale, determined appropriateness and clarity of potential patient questionnaire items.

Main results: Correlation values indicated significant correlation (p < 0.01) between pain and functional limitations (r = 0.068) and activity and functional limitations (r = 0.67), indicating that functional limitation may not be a unique component, but is integrated with pain and activity. A set of five pain questions, twelve function questions and six activity questions was developed. No statistical differences (p < 0.05) between the three groups of clinicians for the majority of clinical tests. Statistical differences (p < 0.05) between the three groups for rating of importance of flexibility of hip flexor and flexibility of gastrocnemius-soleus muscle groups, knee swelling, and radiographs. Good internal consistency among the 21 clinical tests (Cronbach's alpha = 0.84). The five top rated tests considering mean score values and standard deviations: lower extremity alignment, patellar orientation, patellar mobility, and flexibility of rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae muscle groups.

Conclusions: The results provide evidence of content validity for the components of PFPS evaluation investigated. The findings provide a basis of design of an evaluation tool for PFPS patients consisting of patient self-report questionnaire items and clinical tests.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Patella / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome