Development of the Patient Scale of the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) 3.0: a qualitative study

M. E. Carrière, L. B. Mokkink, Z. Tyack, M. J. Westerman, A. Pijpe, J. Pleat, A. L. van de Kar, J. Brown, H. C. W. de Vet, P. P. M. van Zuijlen

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) is widely used for measurements of scar quality. This encompasses visual, tactile and sensory characteristics of the scar. The Patient Scale of previous POSAS versions was lacking input from patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop the POSAS3.0, Patient Scale with involvement of adults patients with all scar types, complying with the highest clinimetric standards. Methods: From February 2018 to April 2019, a series of six focus group interviews were performed in the Netherlands and Australia to identify scar quality characteristics that adults with scars consider to be important. All focus groups were transcribed, anonymized and analysed using a thematic analysis. Relevant characteristics were formulated into items, resulting in a Dutch and English version of the Patient Scale. These drafts were pilot tested in Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and refined accordingly. Results: A total of 21 relevant scar quality characteristics were identified during the focus groups. Two distinct versions of the POSAS3.0, Patient Scale were developed. The Generic version contains 16 items and can be used for all scar types, except linear scars. The Linear Scar version of the Patient Scale contains the same 16 items, with an extra item referring to the widening of scar margins. All included items are rated on a verbal rating scale with five response options. Conclusion: Two versions of the POSAS3.0 Patient Scale were developed. Further field tests are being performed to establish the measurement properties and scoring algorithm of the scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-592
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of life research
Issue number2
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Content validity
  • Instrument development
  • PROM
  • Scar assessment
  • Scar quality

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