Outcome measures in peripheral neuropathies: requirements through statements

Ingemar S. J. Merkies*, Giuseppe Lauria, Catharina G. Faber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose of review The aim of this review is to inform and educate clinicians through statements about the most important clinimetric requirements for outcome measures in peripheral neuropathies. Recent findings The basic needs of an outcome measure (simple, valid, reliable, and responsive) are generally well known by physicians. However, techniques such as the Rasch methodology offer modern additional requirements, particularly in the development of interval-based outcome measures. Summary Peripheral neuropathies are chronic disorders that generally cause deficits at the body level (impairments, e. g. weakness and sensory deficit) and may lead to problems in daily life and social functioning with a reduction in quality-of-life expectations. Fundamental steps should be taken in the design of clinical studies in peripheral neuropathies to ameliorate these deficits, of which the choice of a proper outcome measure representing the level of interest is considered a crucial one. However, choosing a proper outcome is not only dependent on the proposed research purpose, but perhaps more importantly, on the fulfilment of the clinimetric needs by the scale of interest. All outcome measures should be rigorously examined to determine their scientific soundness before being generally used. Respecting the basic needs of an outcome measure like being simple, valid, reliable, and responsive, this review will highlight through statements the modern scientific essentials in the design and evaluation of an outcome measure. The Rasch method as a modern vehicle will also be addressed, accentuating the need to shift towards a more modern clinimetric era. The presented findings could be applied to all forms of peripheral neuropathies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-563
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • clinimetrics
  • MCID
  • outcome measures
  • peripheral neuropathies
  • Rasch analysis

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