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Outcome measures

Outcome measures are diagnostic tools and systems to measure performance, ability, or function of injured workers. They are a valuable tool for healthcare professionals to engage in the recovery, rehabilitation and return to work of injured workers.

It is expected that all healthcare professionals providing services to injured workers will routinely use outcome measures every 4–6 weeks to clinically justify their treatment. To capture early recovery, it is important measurement commences as early as possible.

The following outcome measures may be used to assist your clinical practice. You must evaluate the appropriateness of the following outcome measures based on the individual's needs and your own professional expertise.

Measures are classified according to their primary focus, are non-exhaustive and you should adhere to relevant copyright guidelines.

Risk identification tools


Upper limb

Lower limb

Neck and back

Mental health screening



Clinical practice guidelines

Easy to search databases of evidence based clinical practice guidelines are located at:

Using outcome measures

WorkSafe expects that all psychology, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, physiotherapy and remedial massage providers who provide services to injured workers for longer than 4-6 weeks will use standardised or customised outcome measures to assist in the clinical justification of their services. For further information about the use of outcome measures in measuring the effectiveness of treatment, please refer to the Clinical Framework.

Outcome measures reduce administrative time for treating healthcare professionals by providing the following benefits:

  • The questionnaires can be completed by the injured worker or TAC client independently of the treating healthcare professional
  • Instead of the treater having to ask a number of questions as part of their subjective assessment, they can scan the questionnaires to pick out the most important issues
  • Assessment of the outcome of treatment is determined more rapidly and with greater objectivity using standardised measures
  • Outcome measures abbreviate information that is required by external parties including referring healthcare professionals and WorkSafe Agents
  • Subsequent reports are also abbreviated by simply referring to the scores over time and how they have varied

Selecting and interpreting outcome measures

These guides provide a summary of some of the common outcome measures for injured workers with orthopaedic conditions and traumatic brain injury.

  • Orthopaedic conditions
  • Adults with traumatic brain injury

Recording outcome measures

Outcome measures across cultures and languages

WorkSafe's guide will assist you in considering outcome measures for injured workers from another culture or who speak another language.

In recognition of the growing need for outcome measures to address multi-cultural needs, the following list of measures has been provided for your use:

Further information


  • Fairbank, Jeremy and Roland, Martin (2000) The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire Spine 25 (24), 3115 – 3124
  • McDowell I, Newell C (1996) Measuring Health – a Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-510371-8
  • Roos EM, Roos HP, Lohmander LS et al (1998) Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS) - development of a self-administered outcome measure, Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 78, 2, 88 - 96
  • Stratford, P, Gill, C, Westaway, M, & Binkley, J (1995) Assessing disability and change on individual patients: a report of a patient specific measure, Physiotherapy Canada, 47, 258-263
  • Yeomans, S.G. (2000) The clinical application of outcomes assessment. Stamford, CT, Appleton & Lange