More about Outcome Measures – a new and promising MSK measure

You may have seen the blog by Carol Fawkes from NCOR on PROMs – the outcome measure for osteopaths.  If you missed it see here.

For completeness, I just thought I would mention some other outcome measures.

Why would you use an outcome measure?

Outcome measures can provide you with valuable data about your practice.  They are used a lot within the NHS to measure how services are performing and provide evidence for obtaining and maintaining contracts.

When you start looking at outcome measures there are an enormous number of measures that can be used:

  • Oswestry Disability Index
  • Bournemouth Questionnaire
  • Pain Disability Questionnaire
  • SF36
  • SF12
  • Quadruple Visual Analogue Scale

You may have come across some of these when you have read research papers.

I would of course primarily encourage you to use NCOR’s PROMs to support data collection for the osteopathic profession which will provide us with a really valuable source of evidence of effectiveness for osteopathy as well as data for your individual practice.

If you are going to look for other outcome measures or are looking to gather evidence to obtain a contract you may be seeking other measures.  There is a very interesting new measure which may be of use to the osteopathic profession.

MSK-HQ (Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire)

This outcome measure has 14 questions – an assessment in BMJOpen ( found high completion rates, excellent test and retest reliability and strong convergent validity. One of the key reasons behind the tool was to provide those involved with ‘any qualified provider’ commissioning an easy to use tool for service evaluation and improvement.

You can find more information about the tool here:

You have to acquire a license to use the product and for single practitioner private health providers this should be free.  Find out more about licences here:

I think this looks like a really interesting tool which researchers found often led to patients revealing more about their health.  It looks easy to implement and could be a really valuable measure for the outcomes, effectiveness and improvements of your service.  I haven’t any personal experience of using the tool, it would be great to hear from any osteopaths who have used the tool.


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