The estimated minimal clinically important difference (MCID) values presented in a study conducted in 2 outpatient physical therapy clinics provide a way for clinicians to evaluate meaningful change in individual patients and for researchers to evaluate meaningful change between groups, say authors of an article published in the November-December 2010 issue (Vol 17, Issue 6) of Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.
The Stroke Impact Scale-16 (SIS-16) scores of participants receiving services at 2 clinics who met inclusion and exclusion criteria (n = 36) were taken at baseline and discharge. At discharge, participants and their physical therapists rated their perceived amount of recovery on a Global Rating of Change (GROC) scale. Estimated MCID values were calculated for the SIS-16 using receiver operating characteristics curves with the GROC as anchors.
There was no difference in baseline characteristics between participants who reported important improvement and those who did not. There was a fair relationship between change in SIS-16 scores and participants' (0.41) and physical therapists' (0.38) GROC scores. Change in SIS-16 scores was significantly greater in participants who reported an important amount of change on the GROC scale and those who did not. Estimated MCID of the SIS-16 ranged from 9.4 to 14.1 depending on the anchor.
APTA member George Fulk, PT, PhD, led the study, which was coauthored by members Kari Dunning, PT, PhD, and Pierce Boyne PT.