Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Tim L. Uhl

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert A. English


Shoulder dysfunction is frequently treated and persistent symptoms are common. Differential diagnosis of shoulder injuries can be challenging and knowledge of a diagnosis alone does not appear to be enough information to predict outcomes. Determination of a set of factors that predict outcome would assist clinicians in making the most effective treatment decision for patients with shoulder pain. The purposes of this dissertation were to investigate patient-clinician agreement in an orthopedic population of patients with shoulder pain and to determine what combination of factors best predicts positive patient-reported outcome following standardized rehabilitation in patients with shoulder pain.

In the first study, it was determined that patient-clinician agreement was moderate to good. This further supports the use of patient reported outcomes as an appropriate approximation of “true” outcome. In the second study, patient-nominated functional limitations were reduced to 14 categories for inclusion as candidate predictors in the prediction model. In the third study, we observed that the combination of absence of neck pain, shorter duration of symptoms and report of exercise as a functional limitation were associated with greater odds of positive clinical outcome following 6 weeks of standardized rehabilitation. Due to limited sample size, generalizations cannot yet be made to other samples. Future investigation of this model in a larger sample and subsequent external validation in a separate sample are necessary to further develop the model for clinical use.