DASHBash: Celebrating 20 years of the DASH Outcome Measure

February 19, 2016 (Toronto, Ont.)—2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) Outcome Measure™, and the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is celebrating. IWH is hosting DASHBash – a series of events taking place throughout the year to mark the achievements of this “little tool that grew.”

The DASHBash year is kicking off with a seminar on Tuesday, February 23 taking place at IWH’s offices in Toronto, which is also being streamed live. It will include a look-back by occupational therapist Dorcas Beaton, a senior scientist at IWH and one of the researchers behind the development of the tool, and by IWH research associate Carol Kennedy, a co-author of the DASH user’s manual. They will tell stories about the development of the DASH and its use and impact today.

The DASH Outcome Measure is a 30-item, self-report questionnaire designed to measure physical function and symptoms in patients with any or several musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb. The measure helps describe the disability experienced by people with upper-limb disorders and also monitors changes in symptoms and function over time.

In 1996, when the DASH was developed by IWH and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, no measure had previously existed to assess the disability and function of the arm, shoulder and hand as a whole. Today, this outcome measure is available in 50 languages and dialects, and has been the subject of almost 2,000 journal articles. It is used around the world, in clinical, research and commercial applications.

Besides the launch event next Tuesday, other events marking the DASHBash year include:

  • recognizing the DASH Outcome Measures’ new trademark;
  • hosting a DASH display at PREMUS 2016, the 9th International Scientific Conference on the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, taking place June 20-23 in Toronto;
  • releasing a video about the impact of the tool on clinical practice and research;
  • introducing a new-and-improved DASH website (www.dash.iwh.on.ca);
  • publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and giving talks at professional conferences about the history, use and impact of the DASH; and
  • launching a database of DASH articles.

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