Patient-reported outcome instruments in spine surgery

Javier Z. Guzman, Holt S. Cutler, James Connolly, Branko Skovrlj, Thomas E. Mroz, K. Daniel Riew, Samuel K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Study Design. A critical review of the current literature. Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine frequency, trends, and methods of utilization of spine-related PROIs over the last 10 years. Summary of Background Data.. Patient-reported outcome instruments (PROIs) have become the gold standard to assess the efficacy of various medical and surgical treatments. Currently, however, there is an expansive range of PROIs without a clear consensus or guideline addressing which PROIs should be used for a particular diagnosis or surgical intervention. Methods. A PubMed search was conducted from 2004 to 2013 of 5 orthopedic journals (The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Bone and Joint Journal, The Spine Journal, The European Spine Journal, and Spine) that publish spine articles, chosen on the basis of readership and impact factor. Journal abstracts were inspected for spine surgery and inclusion of at least 1 PROI. All articles containing PROIs and investigating a surgical intervention with a level of evidence (LOE) 1 to 4 were included for analysis. Article title, LOE, journal, and chosen PROI were recorded for selected articles. Results. Out of 19,736 articles published in our selected time frame, 1,079 utilized PROIs. Most studies were LOE 4 (32.7%). Nearly half (48.9%) of all articles addressed degenerative thoracolumbar conditions. In total, there were 206 unique PROIs in the studies chosen for inclusion. The top 6 instruments utilized were the (1) visual analog scale, (2) Oswestry disability index, (3) Short Form-36, (4) Japanese Orthopaedic Association Outcome Questionnaire, (5) Neck Disability Index, and (6) Scoliosis Research Society-22. Conclusion. The breadth of PROIs in spine surgery is extensive. Although there are preferred patient-reported outcome measures, a consensus or guideline addressing which instruments should be used for a particular diagnosis or procedure may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Japanese Orthopaedic Association questionnaire
  • Neck Disability Index
  • Oswestry Disability Index
  • Patient Report Outcome Instruments
  • Scoliosis Research Society-22
  • Short Form-36
  • consensus committee
  • cost-effectiveness
  • spine surgery
  • standardization
  • validity
  • visual analog scale


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