Article

Assessment of patient functional status after surgery.

Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Journal of the American College of Surgeons (Impact Factor: 4.45). 08/2005; 201(2):171-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2005.03.035
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Improvement in day-to-day functioning is a valued outcome of surgical intervention. A new functional status assessment instrument, the Activities Assessment Scale (AAS), was designed for a randomized clinical trial evaluating laparoscopic versus open hernia repair procedures.
The study data set included 2,164 patients at baseline and 1,562 patients at 3-month followup. Only male patients were enrolled in the trial. The psychometric characteristics of the AAS were examined in statistical analyses of cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the trial. Correlational analyses, factor analyses, and t-tests were used to evaluate scale performance.
We found that the AAS was a reliable measure (Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha =0.85) in the patient population studied. Factor analyses identified three subscales (sedentary activities; ambulatory activities; work and exercise activities). Construct validity was demonstrated by a correlation of 0.65 between the AAS and the physical functioning (PF) dimension of the SF-36 (p < 0.001); comparisons between clinical subgroups further confirmed its validity (p < 0.001). Patients reporting improvement on the physical functioning dimension after surgery showed an effect size of 1.20 for preoperative-postoperative change in their AAS scores.
The AAS has been demonstrated to be a reliable, valid, and clinically responsive instrument that can be used to evaluate patient functioning after hernia surgery. It is easy to administer and requires less than 5 minutes of patient time to complete. This measurement system may prove useful in assessing surgical outcomes in both research and office practice settings.

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