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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
E-pub ahead of print

Four of five frequently used orthopedic PROMs possess inadequate content validity: a COSMIN evaluation of the mHHS, HAGOS, IKDC-SKF, KOOS and KNEES-ACL

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PURPOSE: Content validity is the most important property of PROMs. The COSMIN initiative has published guidelines for evaluating the content validity of PROMs, but they have only sparsely been applied to relevant PROMs for musculoskeletal conditions. The aim of this study was to use the COSMIN Risk of Bias checklist to evaluate the content validity of five PROMs, that are highly relevant in musculoskeletal research and used by the arthroscopic surgery community: the modified Harris' Hip Score (mHHS), the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS), the International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee evaluation Form (IKDC-SKF), the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and the Knee Numeric-Entity Evaluation Score ACL (KNEES-ACL).

METHODS: The development articles for the five PROMs were identified through searches in PubMed and SCOPUS. A literature search was performed to identify additional studies assessing content validity of the PROMs. Additional information, necessary for the assessments, was obtained from the PROM developers after direct request. To evaluate the quality of the development studies and rate the content validity, the COSMIN Risk of Bias checklist was applied to all studies.

RESULTS: All five development studies were identified. Three subsequent content validity studies were identified, all evaluating KOOS and one also IKDC. One content validity study was of inadequate quality and excluded from further analysis. The development of mHHS, IKDC-SKF, and KOOS was rated inadequate and possess insufficient content validity for their target populations. Due to the irrelevance of multiple items, KOOS was in particular inappropriate to evaluate patients with an ACL injury. The development of HAGOS was also rated inadequate, although the insufficiency aspects can be regarded as minor. KNEES-ACL possessed sufficient content validity.

CONCLUSION: Out of five PROMs, only KNEES-ACL possessed sufficient content validity. Particularly, KOOS should not be used as an outcome for patients with an ACL injury. There is an urgent need for condition-specific PROMs for musculoskeletal conditions, developed with adequate methods.


Original languageEnglish
JournalKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021. European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA).

    Research areas

  • Arthroscopy, Content validity, COSMIN, Measurement properties, Patient reported outcome measures, PROM, Sports traumatology

ID: 74902979