Patients Experience Significant and Meaningful Changes in Self-Report of Function During the First 2 Weeks After an Ankle Sprain Injury: A Report From the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network

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Journal of Sport Rehabilitation


Context: Ankle sprains are common during sport participation and associated with long-term deficits in self-report of function. However, little is known of short-term changes in self-report of function following injury. The authors aimed to assess statistical and clinically meaningful changes in self-report of function, as measured by the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), during the first 2 weeks after an ankle sprain injury. Design: A retrospective analysis of electronic medical records. Methods: Eighty-eight patients, who were diagnosed with an ankle sprain injury by an athletic trainer, received usual care from an athletic trainer, and completed the FAAM during treatment at weeks 1 and 2 postinjury. The authors calculated the percentage of patients who reported clinically meaningful changes and used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to compare differences in FAAM scores between time points. Results: Between weeks 1 and 2, significant differences were noted for the FAAM Activities of Daily Living (FAAM-ADL) (P < .001) and FAAM Sport (FAAM-Sport) (P < .001). At the patient level, 86.5% (64/74) and 85.2% (69/81) of patients reported changes that exceeded the minimal clinically important difference value for the FAAM-ADL and FAAM-Sport, respectively, between weeks 1 and 2. At week 2, 31.8% (28/88) and 47.7% (42/88) of patients reported a score below 90% on the FAAM-ADL and below 80% on the FAAM-Sport subscale, respectively. Also, 36.4% (32/88) and 25.0% (22/88) of patients reported a score of 100% on the FAAM-ADL and FAAM-Sport subscales, respectively, at week 2. Conclusions: Patients report statistically significant and meaningful improvements in self-report of function during the first 2 weeks following ankle sprain injury. However, almost half of patients still report deficits in sport function at 2 weeks postinjury. Patient-reported outcome measures such as the FAAM, can help capture the patient's perception of function and inform patient care decisions. Research efforts should explore individual response patterns to treatment.

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