Can the Knee Outcome and Osteoarthritis Score (KOOS) Function Subscale Be Linked to the PROMIS Physical Function to Crosswalk Equivalent Scores?

Marilyn Heng, Xiaodan Tang, Benjamin D Schalet, Austin K Collins, Antonia F Chen, Christopher M Melnic, Todd M O'Brien, Rachel C Sisodia, Patricia D Franklin, David Cella

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BACKGROUND: An increased focus on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) has led to a proliferation of these measures in orthopaedic surgery. Mandating a single PROM in clinical and research orthopaedics is not feasible given the breadth of data already collected with older measures and the emergence of psychometrically superior measures. Creating crosswalk tables for scores between measures allows providers to maintain control of measure choice. Furthermore, crosswalk tables permit providers to compare scores collected with older outcome measures with newly collected ones. Given the widespread use of the newer Patient-reported Outcome Measure Information System Physical Function (PROMIS PF) and the established Knee Outcome and Osteoarthritis Score (KOOS), it would be clinically useful to link these two measures.

QUESTION/PURPOSE: Can the KOOS Function in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) subscale be robustly linked to the PROMIS PF to create a crosswalk table of equivalent scores that accurately reflects a patient's reported physical function level on both scales?

METHODS: We sought to establish a common standardized metric for collected responses to the PROMIS PF and the KOOS ADL to develop equations for converting a PROMIS PF score to a score for the KOOS-ADL subscale and vice versa. To do this, we performed a retrospective, observational study at two academic medical centers and two community hospitals in an urban and suburban healthcare system. Patients 18 years and older who underwent TKA were identified. Between January 2017 and July 2020, we treated 8165 patients with a TKA, 93% of whom had a diagnosis of primary osteoarthritis. Of those, we considered patients who had completed a full KOOS and PROMIS PF 10a on the same date as potentially eligible. Twenty-one percent (1708 of 8165) of patients were excluded because no PROMs were collected at any point, and another 67% (5454 of 8165) were excluded because they completed only one of the required PROMs, leaving 12% (1003 of 8165) for analysis here. PROMs were collected each time they visited the health system before and after their TKAs. Physical function was measured by the PROMIS PF version 1.0 SF 10a and KOOS ADL scale. Analyses to accurately create a crosswalk of equivalent scores between the measures were performed using the equipercentile linking method with both unsmoothed and log linear smoothed score distributions.

RESULTS: Crosswalks were created, and adequate validation results supported their validity; we also created tables to allow clinicians and clinician scientists to convert individual patients' scores easily. The mean difference between the observed PROMIS PF scores and the scores converted by the crosswalk from the KOOS-ADL scores was -0.08 ± 4.82. A sensitivity analysis was conducted, confirming the effectiveness of these crosswalks to link the scores of two measures from patients both before and after surgery.

CONCLUSION: The PROMIS PF 10a can be robustly linked to the KOOS ADL measure. The developed crosswalk table can be used to convert PROMIS PF scores from KOOS ADL and vice versa.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The creation of a crosswalk table between the KOOS Function in ADL subscale and PROMIS PF allows clinicians and researchers to easily convert scores between the measures, thus permitting greater choice in PROM selection while preserving comparability between patient cohorts and PROM data collected from older outcome measures. Creating a crosswalk, or concordance table, between the two scales will facilitate this comparison, especially when pooling data for meta-analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2653-2664
Number of pages12
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/statistics & numerical data
  • Correlation of Data
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee/surgery
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome

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