During the past several years, patient-reported outcomes (PRO) have become increasingly important in orthopedic management and literature, such that multiple different outcomes are routinely reported in patient encounters and clinical studies. This increased use, however, causes challenges due to the variable nature of administration26 and reporting of these outcomes tools. In addition, there is a lack of consensus when considering the collection and reporting of conventional metrics such as range of motion, strength, and imaging findings. This lack of standardization creates challenges when attempting to compare results across multiple studies.
The goal of this study was to quantify the variability in outcomes reporting of a common orthopedic condition rotator cuff tear across articles published in high-impact orthopedic journals. We hypothesize that there will be significant variability across the types of metric reported (ie, range of motion, strength, imaging, functional scores, and satisfaction) as well as across individual metrics (ie, among the available validated outcomes scores). Understanding this variability is crucial in taking the first steps toward standardizing reporting of outcomes for patients with any given disease.