Generation of Domains for the Equine Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Outcome Score: Development by Expert Consensus
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Outcome measures (OMs) are a requirement of professional practice standards in human and canine physiotherapy practice for measurement of health status. Measures such as pain and functional capacity of specific regions are used to track treatment impact and can be used to develop optimal management strategies. To achieve comparable patient care in equine physiotherapy, OMs must be incorporated into practice; however, no reliable and valid OMs exist for equine rehabilitation. This study utilised the experience and opinion of a panel of experts working in the equine rehabilitation sphere to gain consensus on the core areas (domains) to be included in a model, to lead to an OM scale for horses undergoing rehabilitation. The Delphi method and content validity ratio testing was used to determine agreement with domains reaching the critical value required for inclusion. The expert panel agreed on ten domains to be included in the OM scale: lameness, pain at rest, pain during exercise, behaviour during exercise, muscular symmetry, performance/functional capacity, behaviour at rest, palpation, balance and proprioception. An OM with these domains would provide a holistic objective assessment tool which could be used by equine rehabilitation professionals in clinical practice.
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