Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

PROMIS Pain Interference and Physical Function Scores Correlate With the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) in Patients With Hallux Valgus

Devon C. Nixon MD, Jeremy J. McCormick MD, Jeffrey E. Johnson MD, Sandra E. Klein MD



Traditional patient-reported outcome instruments like the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) quantify patient disability but often are limited by responder burden and incomplete questionnaires. The Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) overcomes such obstacles through computer-adaptive technology and can capture outcome data from various domains including physical and psychosocial function. Prior work has compared the FAAM with PROMIS physical function; however, there is little evidence comparing the association between foot and ankle-specific tools like the FAAM with more general outcomes measures of PROMIS pain interference and depression in foot and ankle conditions.

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(1) We asked whether there was a relationship between FAAM Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scores with PROMIS physical function, pain interference, and depression in patients with hallux valgus. (2) Additionally, we asked if we could identify specific factors that are associated with variance in FAAM and PROMIS physical function scores in patients with hallux valgus.


Eighty-five new patients with either a primary or secondary diagnosis of hallux valgus based on clinic billing codes from July 2015 to February 2016 were retrospectively identified. Patients completed FAAM ADL paper-based surveys and electronic PROMIS questionnaires for physical function, pain interference, and depression from new patient visits at a single time. Spearman rho correlations were performed between FAAM ADL and PROMIS scores. Analyses then were used to identify differences in FAAM ADL and PROMIS physical function measures based on demographic variables. Stepwise linear regressions then determined which demographic and/or outcome variable(s) accounted for the variance in FAAM ADL and PROMIS physical function scores.


FAAM scores correlated strongly with PROMIS physical function (r = 0.70, p < 0.001), moderately with PROMIS pain interference (r = −0.65, p < 0.001), and weakly with PROMIS depression (r = −0.35, p < 0.001) scores. Regression analyses showed that PROMIS pain interference scores alone were associated with sizeable portions of the variance in FAAM ADL (R= 0.44, p < 0.001) and PROMIS physical function (R= 0.57, p < 0.001) measures.


PROMIS function and pain measures correlated with FAAM ADL scores, highlighting the interrelationship of pain and function when assessing outcomes in patients with hallux valgus. PROMIS tools allow for more-efficient data collection across multiple domains and, moving forward, may be better poised to monitor changes in pain and function with time compared with traditional outcome measures like the FAAM.

Clinical Relevance

The relationships shown here between PROMIS and FAAM scores further support the use of PROMIS tools in outcomes-based research. In patients with hallux valgus, pain-related disability appears to be a central feature of the patient-experience. Future studies should assess the association of various outcome domains on other common foot and ankle diagnoses.

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