Validation of a manual ability questionnaire in patients with systemic sclerosis
Article first published online: 29 APR 2009
Copyright © 2009 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 61, Issue 5, pages 695–703, 15 May 2009
How to Cite
Vanthuyne, M., Smith, V., Arat, S., Westhovens, R., de Keyser, F., Houssiau, F. A., Thonnard, J.-L. and Vandervelde, L. (2009), Validation of a manual ability questionnaire in patients with systemic sclerosis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 61: 695–703. doi: 10.1002/art.24426
- Issue published online: 29 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 29 APR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 11 SEP 2008
- Société Royale Belge de Rhumatologie/Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Reumatologie
- Fonds pour la Recherche Scientifique en Rhumatologie/Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Reuma Onderzoek
- Association des Patients Sclérodermiques de Belgique
- Research fellowship from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium
- Fondation Saint-Luc
To adapt and validate a manual ability questionnaire, the ABILHAND, developed through the Rasch methodology in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).
The original version of the ABILHAND, which includes 81 manual daily activities, was presented to 156 patients with SSc. They were asked to provide their perceived difficulty in performing each manual activity on a 3-level scale: impossible, difficult, or easy. Items were selected from well-established psychometric criteria. The patients were reassessed 1 month later to test the reproducibility. Concomitantly, they were clinically evaluated for their disease activity/severity, and their functional ability was tested with the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ).
The 26 selected items defined a unidimensional and linear measure of manual ability and showed a continuous progression in their difficulty. The item difficulty hierarchy was invariant across 12 patient-related factors and the manual ability score was reproducible over time. Finally, the manual ability was significantly poorer in SSc patients with more severe disease, and was negatively correlated with the HAQ score (ρ = −0.733).
The SSc-adapted ABILHAND questionnaire is a reliable, valid, reproducible, linear, and unidimensional measure to assess and followup on the manual ability of patients with SSc; therefore, it could become a useful additional tool in clinical trials to assess treatment efficacy.