Making Outcome Measures Work for You

Written by William Riddick

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An outcome measure is “…the result of a test that is used to objectively determine the baseline function of a patient at the beginning of treatment.”1 This can then be used to measure improvements, predict outcomes, or make recommendations for assistive devices & interventions. This makes an outcome measure an extremely valuable tool to a rehabilitation clinician.

Despite their clinical utility, outcome measures tend to be a source of stress for many. These measures often take a lot of time, can be difficult to introduce to a clinic, and require significant effort to determine whether a measure is applicable to a patient. As a result, clinicians tend to use a few, select outcome measures with limited frequency.2,3 Therefore, patients are unlikely to receive the outcome measure that is best for them.

To bring more outcome measures into the clinic, a new approach is required.

Toolkits are groups of documents and/or resources that equip a user to perform a task, having every ‘tool’ that they could need. While toolkits are prevalent on topics such as clinic management, they have not been widely introduced for outcome measures. Toolkits can be specifically designed to overcome barriers in outcome measure use.

Mission Gait develops outcome measure toolkits with this exact purpose in mind. After looking at implementation research and questioning clinicians about their barriers to using outcome measures, every toolkit is specifically designed to make implementation and use as simple as possible.

Instead of the clinician working to use an outcome measure, we make the outcome measure work for the clinician.

Coinciding with our mission and values, we make these resources freely available on our website so that every clinician can access our toolkits and make outcome measures work for them.

 

 

1.      "Outcome Measures." Physiopedia. Accessed June 01, 2017. http://www.physio-pedia.com/Outcome_Measures.

2.      Swinkels, Raymond AHM, Roland PS van Peppen, Harriet Wittink, Jan WH Custers, and Anna JHM Beurskens. "Current use and barriers and facilitators for implementation of standardised measures in physical therapy in the Netherlands." BMC musculoskeletal disorders 12, no. 1 (2011): 106.

3.      Jette, Diane U., James Halbert, Courtney Iverson, Erin Miceli, and Palak Shah. "Use of standardized outcome measures in physical therapist practice: perceptions and applications." Physical therapy 89, no. 2 (2009): 125.