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Assessment of Disability

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There is no specific assessment tool for disability due to arachnoiditis.

One needs instead to look at more generic instruments.

The most widely assessment tool used for musculoskeletal disorders is the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ; 9).

The disability section contains 20 items to assess the ability to perform activities in 8 different areas such as eating and walking with a scale from ?no difficulty' to ?unable to do'.

The Modified HAQ; 10 contains amendments that have been found to increase its sensitivity to measure change in functioning.

The Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale (AIMS) is also used for musculoskeletal disorders; it independently assesses lower and upper extremity functions amongst other factors.

One of the most widely used measures of functional ability is the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP).

In its British form this is known as the Functional Limitations Profile. This is a 136-question yes/no questionnaire, which provides a number of subscales including one which measures physical disability relating to activities such as walking, self-care and mobility.

Some scales designed to provide a comprehensive score of health status include measures of disability and handicap. Some of these combine psychological and social roles in a single score whilst also providing a score of physical functioning.

Two of the most commonly used generic health status measures are the SF36 and the Nottingham Health Profile 24. The SF36 and SF36D ( modified form that contains an item on depression) have 10 items which relate to physical functioning.

However, it does not offer an adequate assessment of disability.