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1.  Assessment of the Validity and Internal Consistency of a Performance Evaluation Tool Based on the Japanese Version of the Modified Barthel Index for Elderly People Living at Home 
Journal of Physical Therapy Science  2014;26(12):1971-1974.
[Purpose] This study aimed to examine the validity and internal consistency of the Japanese version of a performance evaluation tool for activities of daily living (ADL) based on the modified Barthel Index (PET-MBI) among elderly people at home. [Subjects] The subjects were elderly people living at home in Japan. [Methods] A cross-sectional study was performed at five home care facilities for elderly people in Japan. ADL performance was evaluated for 128 participants using the PET-MBI, which included 10 self-care items. We used confirmatory factor analysis to estimate the factorial validity. We assessed data model fitness with the χ2 statistic, the Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI), and Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to determine the internal consistency. [Results] The mean age of the participants was 79.1±8.9 years. Among the 126 participants included in the analysis, 67 were women (53.2%). The single-factor model demonstrated a fair fit to the data, with the χ2 statistic = 74.9 (df =35), GFI = 0.88, AGFI = 0.81, and RMSEA = 0.096, and the path coefficients of each item ranged from 0.44 to 0.95. The alpha coefficient of the 10-item scale was 0.93. [Conclusion] The PET-MBI for elderly people at home was well validated.
PMCID: PMC4273070  PMID: 25540510
Activities of daily living; Internal consistency; Validity
2.  Tally counter test as a simple and objective assessment of cervical myelopathy 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(1):183-188.
To test the usefulness of a novel performance test, the tally counter test (counter test), which uses a hand tally counter to objectively assess the severity of cervical myelopathy.
Eighty-three patients with compressive cervical myelopathy (mean age 64 ± 13 years) who were undergoing cervical laminoplasty and 280 healthy control subjects (aged 20–89 years) were tested. The subjects were instructed to push the button of a tally counter as many times as possible in 10 s. The average of the right- and left-sided values in each patient was used for analysis. In the patient group, counter test values were compared with Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) and Japanese version of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey scores preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively.
The average counter test value was significantly lower in patients with myelopathy than age- and gender-matched controls (32.9 ± 10.9 vs. 46.9 ± 8.5, P < 0.0001). The counter test value was significantly higher at 2 weeks postoperatively than preoperatively (P = 0.0014). Counter test values showed a moderate correlation with JOA scores and a weak to moderate correlation with SF-36 physical functioning, role functioning, and role-emotional scores both pre- and postoperatively. The intraclass correlation coefficient of counter test values was high both pre- and postoperatively.
The tally counter test is objective and quantitative assessment method for patients with cervical myelopathy. The test is simple, reliable, and capable of detecting small functional changes.
PMCID: PMC3540301  PMID: 23179985
Cervical spine; Myelopathy; Laminoplasty; Outcome; Quantitative assessment
3.  Ultrasonographic quantification of spinal cord and dural pulsations during cervical laminoplasty in patients with compressive myelopathy 
European Spine Journal  2012;21(12):2450-2455.
Pulsatile movements of the dura mater have been interpreted as a sign that the cord is free within the subarachnoid space, with no extrinsic compression. However, the association between restoration of pulsation and adequate decompression of the spinal cord has not been established. The present study investigated the relationship between the extent of spinal cord decompression and spinal cord and dural pulsations based on quantitative analysis of intraoperative ultrasonography (US).
Eighty-five consecutive patients (55 males, 30 females; mean age, 64 ± 13 years) who underwent cervical double-door laminoplasty to relieve compressive myelopathy were enrolled. Spinal cord decompression status was classified as: Type 1 (non-contact), the subarachnoid space was retained on the ventral side of the cord, Type 2 (contact and apart), the cord showed both contact with and separation from the anterior element of the cervical spine, or Type 3 (contact), the cord showed continuous contact with the anterior element of the cervical spine. Spinal cord and dura mater dynamics were quantitatively analyzed using automatic video-tracking software. Furthermore, the intensity of spinal and dural pulsation was compared with the recovery of motor function at 1 year after surgery as measured by increase in the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Cervical Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ).
Spinal cord pulsation amplitude ranged from 0.01 to 0.84 mm (mean 0.30 ± 0.16 mm) and dural pulsation amplitude ranged from 0.01 to 0.38 mm (mean 0.14 ± 0.08 mm). Average spinal cord pulsation amplitude in Type 2 patients was significantly larger than that in the other groups, whereas, average dural pulsation amplitudes were similar for all three groups. There was a significant correlation between spinal cord and dural pulsation amplitudes in Type 1 patients, but not in Type 2 or Type 3 patients. Type 3 patients showed a particularly poor correlation between spinal cord and dural pulsations. Spinal cord pulsation amplitude was moderately correlated with the recovery of motor function evaluated by JOACMEQ.
The present results suggest that restoration of dural pulsation is not an adequate indicator of sufficient decompression of the spinal cord following a surgical procedure.
PMCID: PMC3508211  PMID: 22820915
Cervical spine; Myelopathy; Laminoplasty; Ultrasonography; Cerebrospinal fluid
4.  Lessons learned in the development of process quality indicators for cancer care in Japan 
In Japan, attention has increasingly focused on ensuring the quality of care, particularly in the area of cancer care. The 2006 Basic Cancer Control Act reinforced efforts to ensure the quality of cancer care in a number of sectors, including the role of government in ensuring quality. We initiated a government-funded research project to develop quality indicators to measure the quality of care for five major cancers (breast, lung, stomach, colorectal, and liver cancer) in Japan, and palliative care for cancers in general. While we successfully developed a total of 206 quality indicators, a number of issues have been raised regarding the concepts and methodologies used to measure quality. Examples include the choice between measuring the process of care versus the outcome of care; the degree to which the process-outcome link should be confirmed in real-world measurement; handling of exceptional cases; interpretation of measurement results between quality of care versus quality of documentation; creation of summary scores; and the optimal number of quality indicators for measurement considering the trade-off between the measurement validity versus resource limitations. These and other issues must be carefully considered when attempting to measure quality of care, and although many appear to have no correct answer, continuation of the project requires that a decision nevertheless be made. Future activities in this project, which is still ongoing, should focus on the further exploration of these problems.
PMCID: PMC2990721  PMID: 21054836
5.  Do proxies reflect patients' health concerns about urinary incontinence and gait problems? 
While falls and urinary incontinence are prevalent among older patients, who sometimes rely on proxies to provide their health information, the validity of proxy reports of concern about falls and urinary incontinence remains unknown.
Telephone interviews with 43 consecutive patients with falls or fear of falling and/or bothersome urinary incontinence and their proxies chosen by patients as most knowledgeable about their health. The questionnaire included items derived from the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 (SF-12), a scale assessing concerns about urinary incontinence (UI), and a measure of fear of falling, the Falls Efficacy Scale (FES). Scores were estimated using items asking the proxy perspective (6 items from the SF-12, 10 items from a UI scale, and all 10 FES items). Proxy and patient scores were compared using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC, one-way model). Variables associated with absolute agreement between patients and proxies were explored.
Patients had a mean age of 81 years (range 75–93) and 67% were female while proxies had a mean age of 70 (range 42–87) and 49% were female. ICCs were 0.63 for the SF-12, 0.52 for the UI scale, and 0.29 for the FES. Proxies tended to understate patients' general health and incontinence concern, but overstate patients' concern about falling. Proxies who lived with patients and those who more often see patients more closely reflected patient FES scores compared to those who lived apart or those who saw patients less often. Internal consistency reliability of proxy responses was 0.62 for the SF-12, 0.86 for the I-QOL, and 0.93 for the FES. In addition, construct validity of the proxy FES scale was supported by greater proxy-perceived fear of falling for patients who received medical care after a fall during the past 12 months (p < .05).
Caution should be exercised when using proxies as a source of information about older patients' health perceptions. Questions asking about proxies' views yield suboptimal agreement with patient responses. However, proxy scales of UI and fall concern are internally consistent and may provide valid independent information.
PMCID: PMC1308844  PMID: 16305748
Fear of falling; Urinary incontinence; Health-related quality of life; Patient-proxy agreement

Results 1-5 (5)