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Archived Comments for: Theoretical framework and methodological development of common subjective health outcome measures in osteoarthritis: a critical review

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  1. Theory - but why?

    Christian Apfelbacher, Division of Public Health and Primary Care, The Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK

    29 May 2007

    We welcome the article by Pollard et al. which draws attention to the lack of theory underlying subjective health outcome measures and the methodological variation in the development of these measures.

    As an example of a theoretical model the authors use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). They refer to it as a ‘biomedical model’, when in fact it adopts a biopsychosocial approach.

    Pollard and colleagues base their paper on the assumption that a theoretical framework is advantageous, but the authors fail to convincingly convey why. Whilst mentioning that measures developed within a theoretical framework have the advantage of allowing “underlying processes to be investigated” and “interventions appropriately targeted”, they fail to clarify why these advantages occur and how this relates to a theoretical framework.

    Undoubtedly, there are different notions of theory prevailing and it is certainly debatable what a theory constitutes, but irrespective of this, the above reservations are pertinent and need addressing.

    Christian Apfelbacher

    Matthew Hankins

    Carrie Llewellyn

    Anjum Memon

    Helen Smith

    Alice Theadom

    Competing interests

    None declared