Minimal important change in physical function in trauma patients: a study using the short musculoskeletal function assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE: The Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) questionnaire can be used to evaluate physical functioning in patients with traumatic injuries. It is not known what change in score reflects a meaningful change to patients. The aim was to determine minimal important change (MIC) values of the subscales (0-100) of the Dutch SMFA-NL in a sample of patients with a broad range of injuries.

METHODS: Patients between 18 and 65 years of age completed the SMFA-NL and the Global Rating of Effect (GRE) questions at 6-week and 12-month post-injury. Anchor-based MIC values were calculated using univariable logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: A total of 225 patients were included (response rate 67%). The MIC value of the Upper Extremity Dysfunction (UED) subscale was 8 points, with a misclassification rate of 43%. The Lower Extremity Dysfunction subscale MIC value was 14 points, with a misclassification rate of 29%. The MIC value of the Problems with Daily Activities subscale was 25 points, with a misclassification rate of 33%. The MIC value of the Mental and Emotional Problems (MEP) subscale was 7 points, with a misclassification rate 37%.

CONCLUSION: MIC values of the SMFA-NL were determined. The MIC values aid interpreting whether a change in physical functioning can be considered clinically important. Due to the considerable rates of misclassification, the MIC values of the UED and MEP subscales should be used with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2239
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number8
Early online date4-Apr-2020
Publication statusPublished - 4-Apr-2020


  • Short musculoskeletal function assessment
  • Patient reported outcome
  • Minimal important difference
  • Minimal clinically important
  • Trauma
  • Injury
  • SF-36
  • SMFA

Cite this