Current Utilization, Interpretation, and Recommendations: The Musculoskeletal Function Assessments (MFA/SMFA)

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Summary:The development of patient-oriented health status measurements has resulted in the emergence of several generic condition-specific and anatomic-specific instruments. These instruments are generally designed to measure the function of the individual as a whole from the individual's own point of view. They are not intended to replace traditional physician-oriented clinical outcome measures, such as complication rates, ranges of motion, or time to fracture union; instead, they are an attempt to measure the results of a treatment or condition from the patient's perspective. Over the past decade, the Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (MFA) instrument has been developed and used as one of the primary generic musculoskeletal functional assessment tools, in part because of its validity, reliability, and responsiveness.1,2 Despite the numerous publications reporting the MFA/SMFA, we are unaware of any publications that have used those results to subsequently affect patient care. We hope that this special interest article highlights the current underutilization of the available data and encourages the orthopedic community to maximize the clinical and research potential of the MFA/SMFA (Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment).

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