Abstract

Background: Lower limb burns can significantly delay recovery of function. Measuring lower limb functional outcomes is challenging in the unique burn patient population and necessitates the use of reliable and valid tools. The aims of this study were to examine the test-retest reliability, sensitivity, and internal consistency of Sections 1 and 3 of the Lower Limb Functional Index-10 (LLFI-10) questionnaire for measuring functional ability in patients with lower limb burns over time.

Methods: Twenty-nine adult patients who had sustained a lower limb burn injury in the previous 12 months completed the test-retest procedure of the study. In addition, the minimal detectable change (MDC) was calculated for Section 1 and 3 of the LLFI-10. Section 1 is focused on the activity limitations experienced by patients with a lower limb disorder whereas Section 3 involves patients indicating their current percentage of pre-injury duties.

Results: Section 1 of the LLFI-10 demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.98, 95 % CI 0.96–0.99) whilst Section 3 demonstrated high test-retest reliability (ICC 0.88, 95 % CI 0.79–0.94). MDC scores for Sections 1 and 3 were 1.27 points and 30.22 %, respectively. Internal consistency was demonstrated with a significant negative association (rs=−0.83) between Sections 1 and 3 of the LLFI-10 (p<0.001).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that Section 1 and 3 of the LLFI-10 are reliable for measuring functional ability in patients who have sustained lower limb burns in the previous 12 months, and furthermore, Section 1 is sensitive to changes in patient function over time.

Keywords

outcome measure, questionnaire, lower limb function, internal consistency, minimal detectable change, burn

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