The authors present an overview of the current state of outcome measurements in hand surgery. To assess patient outcome in clinical practice, the authors suggest a combination of a general health questionnaire, such as the SF-12 (Med Care 34:220-33, 1996), and a region-specific questionnaire, such as the DASH (Am J Industr Med 29:602-8, 1996). To detect subtle changes in a research setting, the authors recommended a disease-specific questionnaire (e.g., Levine score for carpal tunnel syndrome), along with both region-specific and general health questionnaires. This article will be of benefit in the design of research protocols by hand and upper extremity surgeons.
J Hand Surg 28B:289-94, 2003.