In 2006, a group of ACVS Diplomates interested in improving the quality of clinical studies in veterinary surgery initiated the Canine Orthopedic Outcomes Measures Program (OMP). OMP was to develop and validate standardized tools for use in determining and comparing outcomes of surgical and medical treatments for canine orthopedic diseases.
The Outcome Measures Program was developed in collaboration with corporate sponsors and the ACVS Foundation who valued the ability to assess diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in veterinary orthopedics.
- Cornerstone Sponsors ($100,000 and above) included Zoetis, Merial Limited, and Novartis Animal Health US, Inc.
- Arthrex Vet Systems committed as a Major Sponsor ($20,000 and above).
- At the Sponsorship Level ($10,000 and above), supporters of the effort included BioMedtrix, LLC, Fort Dodge Animal Health, and DePuy Synthes Vet.
- IMEX Veterinary, Inc., and Susan and Dale Pond were also contributors to the program.
Between 2007 and 2013, Dorothy C. Brown, DVM, MSCE, DACVS developed and validated the “Canine Orthopedic Index” (COI). The results of this work have been published in Veterinary Surgery, in three articles, covering the development of the COI, psychometric testing, and responsiveness testing. These studies document both the validity and practicality of use of outcomes measures as an important method of evaluating the efficacy of treatments, medical and surgical, on the quality of life and function of our patients.
The COI is now available on-line for free use by anyone interested in clinical research in canine orthopedics or simply as a means of measuring individual outcomes. We believe that a validated outcomes instrument, such as the COI, should be used whenever possible and appropriate in canine orthopedic clinical research. A move to require the use of validated over non-validated questionnaires can already be seen in the veterinary literature.
Outcomes measures in the form of client questionnaires are by no means the only method of evaluating the effectiveness of treatments. Other methods such as veterinarian assessments of physiologic measurements (goniometry, muscle mass) and kinetic and kinematic objective measures are vital to the critical assessment of outcomes. However, the value and significance of animal owners’ observations should not be underestimated. Owners have the benefit of observing their animals over a prolonged period of time and in a variety of circumstances, which can test a dog’s quality of life and function in ways that are not possible in the clinic or laboratory. Additionally, it is important to remember that we are not only a profession that treats animals, but also one that must try to meet the goals of our clients and demonstrate, in an increasingly skeptical consumer world, that our treatments are based on scientific assessment of their efficacy and not on their financial productivity.
The Canine Orthopedic Outcomes Measures Program Committee