Clinimetric properties and clinical utility in rehabilitation of postsurgical scar rating scales: A systematic review

Stefano Vercelli, Giorgio Ferriero, Francesco Sartorio, Carlo Cisari, Elisabetta Bravini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to review and critically assess the most used and clinimetrically sound outcome measures currently available for postsurgical scar assessment in rehabilitation. We performed a systematic review of the Medline and Embase databases to June 2015. All published peer-reviewed studies referring to the development, validation, or clinical use of scales or questionnaires in patients with linear scars were screened. Of 922 articles initially identified in the literature search, 48 full-text articles were retrieved for assessment. Of these, 16 fulfilled the inclusion criteria for data collection. Data were collected pertaining to instrument item domains, validity, reliability, and Rasch analysis. The eight outcome measures identified were as follows: Vancouver Scar Scale, Dermatology Life Quality Index, Manchester Scar Scale, Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, Bock Quality of Life (Bock QoL) questionnaire, Stony Brook Scar Evaluation Scale, Patient-Reported Impact of Scars Measure, and Patient Scar Assessment Questionnaire. Scales were examined for their clinimetric properties, and recommendations for their clinical or research use and selection were made. There is currently no absolute gold standard to be used in rehabilitation for the assessment of postsurgical scars, although the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale and the Patient-Reported Impact of Scars Measure emerged as the most robust scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2015


  • Cicatrix
  • Evaluation
  • Outcome assessment
  • Quality of life
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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