COSMIN database

Measures of upper limb function for people with neck pain. A systematic review of measurement and practical properties

Alreni, A. S. E., Harrop, D., Lowe, A., Tanzila, Potia, Kilner, K., and McLean, S. M.
There is a strong relationship between neck pain (NP) and upper limb disability (ULD). Optimal management of NP should incorporate upper limb rehabilitation and therefore include the use of an ULD measure in the assessment and management process. Clear guidance regarding the suitability of available measures does not exist. The aim of this study was to identify all available measures of ULD for populations with NP, critically evaluate their measurement properties and finally recommend a list of suitable measures. This two-phase systematic review is reported in accordance with the PRISMA statement. Phase one identified clearly reproducible measures of ULD for patients with NP. Phase two identified evidence of their measurement properties. In total, 11 papers evaluating the measurement properties of five instruments were included in this review. The instruments identified were the DASH questionnaire, the QuickDASH questionnaire, the NULI questionnaire, the SFA and the SAMP test. There was limited positive evidence of validity of the DASH, QuickDASH, NULI, SFA and SAMP. There was limited positive evidence of reliability of the NULI, SFA and SAMP. There was unknown evidence of responsiveness of the DASH and QuickDASH. Although all measures are supported by a limited amount of low quality evidence, the DASH, QuickDASH, NULI questionnaires, and the SAMP test are promising measures, but they require further robust evaluation.
Musculoskelet Sci Pract
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Role functioning
Social functioning
Adults (18-65)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
4 - Performance-based tests
6 - Clinical rating scales