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Evaluating physical function in an adolescent bone tumor population

Authors

  • P. Janine Pakulis BA, BScPT, MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Physiotherapist, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Department of Rehabilitation, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8.
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  • Nancy L. Young BScPT, MSc, PhD,

    1. Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science and Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Aileen M. Davis BScPT, MSc, PhD

    1. Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Associate Professor, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • This study was completed as partial requirement for Master's of Science, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto.

Abstract

Background

Survival rates for patients with bone tumors have increased dramatically over the past few decades. Unfortunately, many patients face functional limitations resulting from disease management, but there is little evidence regarding physical functioning in adolescents with bone tumors. This lack is largely due to the absence of a standardized measure for evaluating adolescent sarcoma physical functioning. This review discusses considerations in searching for a measure of adolescent physical functioning, evaluates measures previously used in assessing functional outcome in young sarcoma patients, reviews self-report measures of pediatric physical functioning, and makes recommendations for future research.

Procedure

Electronic databases were searched for studies published between 1980 and 2004. Studies examining physical functioning in adolescent sarcoma patients and those describing measures of pediatric physical functioning were included.

Results

The study includes measures previously used in the adolescent bone tumor literature (Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, Mankin, Groningen Activity Restriction Scale, Toronto Extremity Salvage Score [TESS]), and three measures of pediatric physical function (Functional Disability Inventory, Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument [PODCI], Activities Scale for Kids [ASK]). The TESS, PODCI, and ASK each met at least four of the outlined applicability and feasibility components.

Conclusion

The search for a measure of physical functioning for adolescent sarcoma patients requires an exploration of many developmental and measurement issues. Based on the sensibility review presented, the TESS, PODCI, and ASK are recommended for further evaluation of content and of the measurement properties of reliability, validity, and responsiveness, prior to their use in evaluating adolescent sarcoma patients. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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