Relationship between severity and clinical importance of symptoms in osteoarthritis

  • Bellamy N
  • Wells G
  • Campbell J
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Seventeen patients with primary osteoarthritis of the knee were
evaluated with respect to the severity and clinical importance of pain,
stiffness and physical function during the conduct of a double-blind
randomized controlled trial of flurbiprofen SR versus diclofenac sodium
SR using the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index. Mean importance scores were
similar for items within the same dimension as well as between items in
different dimensions. In general, low levels of correlation were noted
between the severity and importance of symptoms. Analysis of individual
WOMAC items within a given subscale indicated that, although highly
correlated, they differed from one another. Factor analysis further
supported the contention that scores from items within a subscale could
be summated into subscale scores. These observations are of importance
in the weighting and aggregation of items within discrete dimensions and
have the potential for reducing sample size requirements for clinical
trials in osteoarthritis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Clinical Metrology
  • Importance
  • Osteoarthritis

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  • N. Bellamy

  • G. Wells

  • J. Campbell

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