Measuring Success with The Patient Specific Functional Scale


"There has been a shift in current health practices toward patient-focused outcome measures in rehabilitation. In response to this shift, the need for individualized outcome measures has become more apparent." (Horn et al., JOSPT 2012)
The Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) is designed to do just that. This scale helps patients and practitioners assess functional, patient-centered change over time by measuring how much of a specific goal (ideally a SMART one) a patient can accomplish.

The PSFS was developed by Paul Stratford et al. in order to better measure outcomes that matter to patients.

The goal(s) are chosen by the patient but ideally with the help of their practitioner. Dr. Bahram Jam pointed out that patients are generally not very good at picking a specific activity they would like to be able to perform. For example, a patient may say they want to be able to go for a walk - but, how much do they want to be able to walk, for how long, where (indoors, outdoors, uneven surface), with or without a gait aid, etc. So, when goal setting is a team effort between patients and practitioners, goals will become much SMARTer and patients will feel more supported through the process.

The original PSFS is measured on a 11-point scale (0-10, 0 meaning the patient cannot perform the goal at all and 10 meaning the patient has accomplished their goal). However, this scale can be confusing because the typical pain or symptom scale is rated from 0-10, with 10 being the worst imaginable pain and 0 being no pain.

So we took this into account after speaking with many practitioners. The PSFS is available on healthSwapp but we use a 0-100% scale, 0 being unable to complete any of the goal and 100% is being able to fully complete the goal.

Awesome points about the PSFS:
  • It's reliable, valid, and responsive for measuring change over time
  • It's completely adaptable to the population you work with
  • You can add additional questions to gather information with your patients: the example questions provided on healthSwapp are used by Dr. Bahram Jam. healthSwapp will remember any question you add to your list.
  • It's flexible for each patient.
  • It's meaningful to the patient and helpful to practitioners
  • It provides insight into what's really important for the patient.
Sign in or sign up and try the PSFS on healthSwapp with your patients today by clicking on the "My Patients" tab in the side bar and then clicking on "PSFS" next to a patients' name.



mbergeorn@healthswapp.com
@healthSwapp

References

  1. Horn KK, Jennings s, Richardson G, Vliet DV, Hefford C, Abbott JH. The patient-specific functional scale: Psychometrics, clinimetrics, and application as a clinical outcome measure. JOSPT. 2012;42(1):30-40.
  2. Straford P, Gill C, Westaway M, Binkley J. Assessing disability and change on the individual patients: A report of a patient specific measure. Physiotherapy Canada. 1995;47:258-63.
  3. deBronkart, Dave. From patient centred to people powered: Autonomy on the rise. BMJ. 2015;350.
  4. Meet e-Patient Dave. TED Talk. April 2011. e-Patient Dave TED Talk