Descriptive norms facilitate interpretation of PEQ and ABC scores

ORLANDO, Fla. – Using normative data is helpful for clinicians when interpreting outcome measure scores, according to research presented by Brian Hafner, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, during the Thranhardt lecture series at the American Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, here.

“Standardized measurement of outcomes has grown increasingly important for modern orthotic and prosthetic practice,” Hafner said. “Measurement has the potential to facilitate many areas of care, including monitoring longitudinal patient outcomes, evaluating clinical decisions and justifying provision of referral-based interventions.”

However, according to Hafner, the adoption of standardized outcome measures is lacking, and clinicians who do adopt them are unsure how to interpret the results.

To address this, Hafner and his colleagues evaluated the Mobility Section of the Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaire (PEQ-MS) and the Activities Specific Balance Confidence questionnaire to enhance understanding of balance and mobility, especially from the patient’s perspective, and to facilitate interpretation of these tests, including the acquisition of descriptive norms to serve as a baseline for typical patient outcomes.

Brian Hafner


The researchers administered revised versions of the two surveys to more than 1,000 lower limb prosthetic users. Based on the patient responses, they were able to develop normative data broken down by sub-categories, which can be used to interpret survey results.

“We feel that the PEQ-MS and the ABC are both potentially well-suited for clinical use in our profession,” Hafner said. “They are easy to administer, there is evidence of reliability and validity among users and now we have normative values that we can use to facilitate our interpretation of individuals with limb loss.”

For more information:

Hafner B. Paper TL1. Normative Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Feb. 20-23, 2013. Orlando, Fla.

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