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Ideally, an outcome instrument measures phenomena that are directly relevant to the patient and provides a comprehensive assessment of the impact of a condition on the patient's daily life. During the past decades, several rating scales have been developed to assess the functional status of patients with shoulder pain. Several scoring systems are currently available for the evaluation of patients with rotator cuff pathology. Each of them evaluates shoulder function using specific variables. The main features of these scoring systems are presented in this review. Although many scoring systems are commonly used to evaluate shoulder function, we are still far from a single outcome evaluation system, which is reliable, valid, and sensitive to clinically relevant changes, takes into account both patient's and physician's perspective, and is short and practical to use.