Associations between shoulder pain and functioning on the ICF Checklist and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scale – a cross-sectional study


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Disability and Rehabilitation;Published online 23 Mar 2019


Taylor & Francis

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Purpose: The association between patients’ shoulder pain and functioning according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), and outcome on a condition specific patient reported outcome measure (PROM), has not been studied. The aim was to investigate how the most common problems on the ICF checklist were associated with shoulder function and disability. Materials and methods: In a cross-sectional design 164 patients ≥ 18 years with chronic shoulder pain were included. The ICF checklist, the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) outcome measure and the Self-Report Comorbidity Questionnaire were used. A hierarchical regression model tested categories for functioning on the ICF checklist associated with disability on the DASH. Results: Mean age was 46.5 years, 54% were women. 85% had had the shoulder pain longer than 6 months. Mean DASH score was 33.2 points (SD 17.1). Adjusted R2 was 0.67. Older age, being woman and having a lower education explained 22% of the variance on the DASH. The body functions bodily pain, mobility of joints and energy and drive function explained 30% of the variance, and the activities and participation problems lifting and carrying objects, washing oneself and recreation and leisure explained an additional 13%. Conclusions: The shoulder disability was multi-dimensional and comprised body functions and activities and participation. And 67% of the variance in the DASH score was explained. Implications for rehabilitation Persistent shoulder pain results in multi-dimensional disability calling for a broader assessment of function. A biopsychosocial approach to shoulder pain and disability is recommended. Functioning assessed on the ICF checklist can be applied in the assessment of chronic shoulder pain as it contributes to the understanding of self-reported disability on a region specific outcome measure.




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