Validity, reliability and ease of use of the disabilities of arm, shoulder and hand questionnaire in adults following stroke
Lannin, Natasha A
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Purpose: The Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire is a patient reported outcome measure for evaluating upper limb function in people with musculoskeletal conditions. While the DASH has good psychometric properties when used with people with musculoskeletal conditions, it has not been tested with adults after stroke. Methods: Data for n=61 adults following stroke (aged 32 to 93 years, 44% male) were analysed to test validity and reliability of the DASH for use with a stroke population. Data included demographic and clinical attributes, DASH scores (baseline and 4 weeks later) and Patient Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) measures. Results: Internal consistency was good (Cronbach alpha 0.92, SEM 6.65). Factor analysis and Rasch modelling suggested that the questionnaire comprised three subscales: pain, impact and function. Concurrent validity between the DASH and PRWE (Spearman’s Rho rs=0.41) was moderate. The scale was perceived by clinicians to be useful, quick and simple to administer. The DASH had low four-week test-retest reliability (ICC 0.56 [95% Cl 0.05-0.79). Conclusion: The DASH is considered to have acceptable validity when used with adults following stroke. Test-retest reliability was low but further research is needed to establish whether this is a result of condition-related change or the stability of the measure.