What factors are predictors of emotional health in patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears?

MOON Shoulder Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background The importance of emotional and psychological factors in treatment of patients with rotator cuff disease has been recently emphasized. Our goal was to establish factors most predictive of poor emotional health in patients with full-thickness rotator cuff tears (FTRCTs). Methods In 2007, we began to prospectively collect data on patients with symptomatic, atraumatic FTRCTs. All patients completed a questionnaire collecting data on demographics, symptom characteristics, comorbidities, willingness to undergo surgery, and patient-related outcomes (12-Item Short Form Health Survey, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index [WORC], Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score, Shoulder Activity Scale). Physicians recorded physical examination and imaging data. To evaluate the predictors of lower WORC emotion scores, a linear multiple regression model was fit. Results Baseline data for 452 patients were used for analysis. In patients with symptomatic FTRCTs, the factors most predictive of worse WORC emotion scores were higher levels of pain (interquartile range odds ratio, −18.9; 95% confidence interval, −20.2 to −11.6; P < .0001) and lower Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation scores (rating of percentage normal that patients perceive their shoulder to be; interquartile range odds ratio, 6.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.5-9.95; P = .0012). Higher education (P = .006) and unemployment status (P = .0025) were associated with higher WORC emotion scores. Conclusions Education level, employment status, pain levels, and patient perception of percentage of shoulder normalcy were most predictive of emotional health in patients with FTRCTs. Structural data, such astendon tear size, were not. Those with poor emotional health may perceive their shoulder to be worse than others and experience more pain. This may allow us to better optimize patient outcomes with nonoperative and operative treatment of rotator cuff tears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1773
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • ASES
  • Rotator cuff
  • SANE
  • SF-12
  • Shoulder Activity Scale
  • WORC
  • emotional health
  • full-thickness tears


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