Outcome measures can be classified as clinician rated and patient rated. Clinician-rated measures predominantly assess impairments, whereas patient-rated measures, also known as patient-based measures, are designed to evaluate the impact of the injury on a patient’s daily activities, work, and recreation. Currently, there is a greater reliance on clinician-rated impairment measures for clinical decision making, specifically with treatment planning and assessing outcomes of care. To comprehensively evaluate the effect of an injury, patient-rated outcome measures must be used because they allow for the assessment of a patient’s ability to perform daily activities and participate in work and recreation that is affected by an injury. Clinician-rated impairment measures should be used to guide the development of a treatment program, and patient-rated measures should be used for both treatment-program development and assessing treatment outcomes in daily clinical practice. The purposes of this article are to describe patient- and clinician-rated outcome measures and to provide guidance and illustrate the benefits of the use of these measures in clinical decision making and documenting outcomes of care.
The author (email@example.com) is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University–Medical College of Virginia Campus, Richmond, VA.