Women treated for breast cancer experience significant deficits in shoulder function that directly impact quality of life. It is critical to assess shoulder function as part of a standard physical therapy evaluation for persons with breast cancer and survivors. The Oncology Section Task Force on Breast Cancer Outcomes was created to uncover the evidence behind clinical outcome measures of shoulder function in persons with breast cancer and survivors.
The authors systematically reviewed the literature for outcome measures that directly measure shoulder function to assess clinical utility and whether psychometric properties are reported and to determine whether the measure was used in the breast cancer population.
The DASH, SPADI, SRQ, and PSS were highly recommended by the task force. The QuickDASH was also recommended. The Task Force was unable to recommend 16 measures for use in the breast cancer population at this time.
Several outcome measures are used to measure shoulder function in people with breast cancer. Further research is needed to determine reliability and validity of these tools specific to the breast cancer population.