Blog Post

Which Outcome Measurement Tool Should I Use and When?

These shortcomings end with WebPT Outcomes, though, because we use five common OMTs that are relevant to, and used by, all medical professionals—not just rehab therapists. Learn more here.

Charlotte Bohnett
5 min read
February 18, 2016
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Earlier this month, we announced the launch of WebPT Outcomes, the first fully-integrated outcomes tracking software specifically for PTs and OTs. One big way that WebPT Outcomes differs from other rehab therapy outcomes tracking software is the outcome measurement tools (OMTs) our product contains. As WebPT president Heidi Jannenga explained in this month’s founder letter, “historically, therapists haven’t had access to outcomes tracking tools that (1) align with the type of care they provide, including the conditions they typically treat, and (2) produce data that all members of the healthcare community—regardless of specialty—can understand, apply, and appreciate.” These shortcomings end with WebPT Outcomes, though, because we use five common OMTs that are relevant to, and used by, all medical professionals—not just rehab therapists.

Below are the five OMTs included in WebPT Outcomes as well as a definition for each.

Dizziness Handicap Inventory

Designed to evaluate self-perceived effects of dizziness, this self-assessment is relevant when assessing vestibular and balance vestibular, gait, quality of life, and social relationships. Learn more about this OMT—including information about the populations tested and the standard error of measurement—here.

Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire

Spine Journal deemed this test—also known as the Oswestry Disability Index—the “gold standard” of low back functional outcome tools. Practitioners use the assessment to measure degree of disability and estimate quality of life for patients with low back pain.

Neck Disability Index

A variation of the Oswestry, the Neck Disability Index (NDI) is the most commonly used self-assessment for measuring the severity of neck pain—in other words, how neck pain is affecting a patient’s everyday life. It’s commonly used when evaluating chronic neck pain, cervical radiculopathy, headaches, and whiplash injuries and associated disorders.

Quick DASH

According to this resource, the Quick DASH (or Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand) is an abridged version of the DASH Outcome Measure. “Instead of 30 items, the QuickDASH uses 11 items to measure physical function and symptoms in people with any or multiple musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb.” In the self-assessment, patients with one or more upper extremity musculoskeletal conditions rate functional difficulty and interference with daily life on a five-point Likert scale.

Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS)

In this self-reported questionnaire, patients rate their degree of difficulty in completing or performing everyday tasks. Practitioners commonly use this OMT for lower extremity cases.

These OMTs probably aren’t new to you. In fact, you most likely are using them regularly with your patients. That’s a lot of assessments you’re completing—and a lot of data you’re storing in WebPT. Wouldn’t you love to see what all that data means? More importantly, wouldn’t you love to use this valuable information to your advantage? That’s where WebPT Outcomes comes into play. Need more information on outcomes tracking in general? Check out our upcoming webinar, Is PT Valuable? Why Outcomes Data is the Proof We Need.


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