Development and initial validation of a new regional outcome measure
: the upper limb disability questionnaire (ULDQ)

  • Charles Philip Gabel

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    The Upper Limb Disability Questionnaire (ULDQ) is a Self Report Measure (SRM) for the determination of outcome status of the upper extremity anatomical region. The tool was developed using the Guyatt Principles of Scale Development to evaluate symptoms and disabilities of the upper limb at a single or multiple points in time using a dichotomous 25 item questionnaire with an optional section for specific items volunteered by the patient. The principle aims and objectives for the completed tool were that it: be for use across diverse patient and condition samples; demonstrated sound practical characteristics for daily clinical practice through simplicity, ease of use, speed of completion; sound methodological characteristics of validity, reliability, responsiveness, internal consistency, error measurement and repeatability; and express continuity with other regional outcome measures for the lower limb and spine. 
    A patient sample of convenience was drawn from multiple centres across four Australian States and Territories using a direct comparison with existing advocated regional outcome measurement tools, the Disabilities Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH), and the Upper Extremity Functional Scale (EJEFS). A total of 214 sampled questionnaires were obtained from 144 separate patients.
    Correlations were used to assess the methodological characteristics of the tool including validity with the production of r values from Pearson correlation coefficients between the ULDQ and measures from the DASH, UEFS and SF-36 Health Status Survey. Methodological and practical characteristics were determined for all tools investigated. 
    The results show that the ULDQ is statistically sound, has the highest practical characteristics and range of disability determination without a tendency toward floor or ceiling effects and has comparable methodological characteristics. This makes it a viable outcome tool for daily clinical use, alone or as part of a integrated patient package of screening and outcomes measures for anatomical regions.
    Date of Award2003
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKaye Roberts-Thomson (Supervisor)

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