New DASH manual improves use of tool measuring upper limb function

January 24, 2012 (Toronto, Ontario)—An updated guide for health-care professionals and researchers on how to use the DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) Outcome Measure is now available from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH).

The DASH Outcome Measure is a 30-item, self-report questionnaire that measures the symptoms and functioning of patients with musculoskeletal disorders of the hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders. The tool gives clinicians and researchers a single, reliable instrument to assess any or all joints in the upper extremity. A shorter, 11-item version called the QuickDASH is also available.

The much-anticipated third edition of the DASH Outcome Measure User’s Manual features a number of upgrades and new chapters, including:

  • the latest research on the reliability, validity and responsiveness of the DASH measure, incorporating over 60 new published articles;
  • information on the development and measurement properties of the QuickDASH;
  • guidelines on the cross-cultural use of DASH measures;
  • an overview of two optional modules offered by DASH, one for athletes and performing artists, and the other for workers whose jobs require a high degree of physical functioning; and
  • the results of a 2009 survey of DASH and QuickDASH users.

This new edition is expected to make understanding and using the DASH measures easier and more accessible, says Carol Kennedy, an IWH research associate who led the update of the manual, in collaboration with one of the tool’s developers, IWH Scientist Dr. Dorcas Beaton. It offers one-stop access to everything on the use and properties of the DASH, QuickDASH and optional modules.

The DASH Outcome Measure is the most widely used and reliable outcome measure for upper extremities. Developed by IWH researchers in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the measure has been translated into 30 languages. IWH is an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts and shares research to protect and improve the health of working people.

The electronic version of the 300-plus page DASH manual costs $40, and the printed version costs $70 (plus $20 for shipping and handling). The DASH and QuickDASH questionnaires are free for not-for-profit use. To order and/or download these products, go to:

About the Institute for Work & Health

IWH is an independent, not-for-profit research organization that aims to protect and improve the health of working people. Recognized as one of the top five occupational health and safety research centres in the world, the Institute provides practical and relevant findings on the prevention of work injury and disability to policy-makers, workers, employers, clinicians, and health, safety and disability management professionals.

Media contacts

Cindy Moser 
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Institute for Work & Health
416-927-2027, ext. 2183

Uyen Vu
Communications Associate
Institute for Work & Health