Wendy J. Coster; Making the Best Match: Selecting Outcome Measures for Clinical Trials and Outcome Studies. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(2):162–170. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2013.006015
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Selecting an appropriate outcome measure is a critical step in designing valid and useful clinical trials and outcome studies. This selection process needs to extend beyond examining basic psychometric properties to consider additional features of instruments that may affect their validity and utility for the study’s purpose. This article discusses these additional factors and their potential impact on outcome measurement. Guidelines are proposed to help clinical researchers and consumers of clinical research literature evaluate the match between the study purpose, population, and instrument.
Evaluation of basic psychometric properties is only the first step in determining whether a particular instrument is appropriate to measure the outcomes of a clinical intervention or program.
Different instruments may capture different aspects of complex phenomena, such as function or participation, and may not be equally valid for all people.
A good match between the measure and what the researcher expects to change as a result of intervention is needed to ensure a valid picture of the outcomes.
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