New iPad app makes scoring of upper limb disability faster, more accurate

July 8, 2013 (Toronto, Canada)—An app to measure disability in injured hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders is now available for use on an iPad.

The DASH Outcome Measure app allows clinicians and researchers to measure disability levels and symptoms in people with musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb, based upon the DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) Outcome Measure and its shorter version, the QuickDASH.

About one in ten Canadians aged 20 or older have an upper extremity disorder that they say is serious enough to have limited their normal activities in the past year. Upper limb musculoskeletal disorders include carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and other injuries of the joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the arms and shoulders. These are caused by repetitive movements, awkward postures and undue force. They are characterized by pain, tingling, stiffness, numbness and weakness in the areas affected.

The DASH and QuickDASH, along with related modules designed for performing artists, professional athletes and workers doing physically demanding jobs, were developed by the Institute for Work & Health and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Using self-report questionnaires filled out by patients, these tools provide reliable measures of upper limb disability and symptoms. Until now, they were available in paper-based formats only.

The iPad-based app includes a number of important features:

  • Patients can directly enter their responses using the touch screen, making DASH scoring both quicker and more accurate.
  • DASH scores are immediately calculated and summarized in a report that includes responses for each item (e.g. ability to open a tight jar, carry a shopping bag, etc.), as well as overall scores.
  • Information on interpreting scores is provided, including the ability to compare patients’ scores with the norms for their age and/or gender.
  • Multiple assessments can be conducted, allowing clinicians to track patients’ progress over time.

The DASH app is available through the Apple App Store at:

For more on the DASH Outcome Measure, 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 
Communications Manager
Institute for Work & Health
416-927-2027, ext. 2183

Uyen Vu
Communications Associate
Institute for Work & Health