Because the operative and nonoperative management of spine disorders
has become increasingly prevalent, it is essential that appropriate
functional outcomes measures are used to assess efficacy of treatment.
Scale / score systems for spinal disorders are used to
disease severity and to measure the outcome objectively. They can be
used for quality improvement of the patient care and for research
purposes. Valid and reliable outcome measures must demonstrate
validity, reliability, and responsiveness. Use of spinal scales could
enable us to:
1. Evaluate and grade the disease objectively,
2. Develop algorithms for treatment selection,
3. Measure the outcome,
4. Communicate better.
Many of spinal scales are for outcome assessment. Outcome assessment is
complex and involves multiple dimensions including symptoms, general
well-being, function, work disability, and satisfaction with treatment.
A scale system should conform some standards in terms of reliability,
validity, responsiveness, and practicality of the measures.