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Clinical measurements versus patient-reported outcomes: analysis of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons physician assessment in patients undergoing reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.

  • Author(s): Goodman, Jeremy;
  • Lau, Brian C;
  • Krupp, Ryan J;
  • Getz, Charlie L;
  • Feeley, Brian T;
  • Ma, C Benjamin;
  • Zhang, Alan L
  • et al.


The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score is composed of a patient-reported portion and a physician assessment. Although the patient-reported score is frequently used to assess postoperative outcomes after shoulder arthroplasty, no previous studies have used the physician-assessment component. This study evaluated the relationship of the ASES physician-assessment measurements with patient-reported shoulder and general health outcomes.


A retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter database was used to analyze patients who underwent primary reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) from 2012 to 2015 with a minimum 2-year follow-up. ASES physician-assessment and patient-reported components and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) general health questionnaires were obtained preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. The relationship between ASES physician measurements with ASES patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores and SF-12 Physical and Mental domain scores was assessed with Pearson correlation coefficients.


Included were 74 patients (32 men; mean age, 69.2 years; body mass index, 29.4 kg/m2). Preoperative physician measurements and PRO scores were not significantly correlated. Postoperatively, only the ASES physician-measured active (R = 0.54, P < .01) and passive forward flexion (R = 0.53, P < .01) demonstrated moderate correlation with ASES patient scores. The remaining clinical measurements had no significant correlations with ASES patient or SF-12 scores. During the 2-year period, only improvements in active forward flexion correlated with improvements in ASES patient scores (R = 0.36, P < .01).


Little correlation exists between clinical measurements from the ASES physician component and PROs, including the ASES patient-reported and SF-12 general health surveys, in RTSA patients. Improvement in active forward flexion is the only clinical measurement correlated with PRO improvement at 2 years.

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