About the DASH

The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Outcome Measure is a 30-item, self-report questionnaire designed to measure physical function and symptoms in patients with any or several musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb.

The questionnaire was designed to help describe the disability experienced by people with upper-limb disorders and also to monitor changes in symptoms and function over time. Testing has shown that the DASH performs well in both these roles.

It gives clinicians and researchers the advantage of having a single, reliable instrument that can be used to assess any or all joints in the upper extremity.

The DASH Outcome Measure contains two optional, four-item modules intended to measure symptoms and function in athletes, performing artists and other workers whose jobs require a high degree of physical performance. Because they may be having difficulties only at high performance levels–which are beyond the scope of the 30-item DASH Outcome Measure–clinicians may find the modules, which are scored separately from the DASH, useful in assessing these special patients.

The DASH Outcome Measure was jointly developed by the Institute for Work & Health and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The project was supported by the American Association for Hand Surgery, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.

The DASH web site and translation approval process is administered by the Institute for Work & Health.

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