There is a possibility of coming up with a short assessment tool that can be used to measure the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries. The goal of this study was to find information on the relation of a one-item global self-assessment of recovery to commonly used measures of recovery status. The study followed a total of 6, 021 adults who are suffering from acute WAD for a period of 6 months. Pain, depression, work status and physical health were assessed at baseline and follow-up. The question “How do you feel you are recovering from your injury?” (six response options from “all better” to “getting much worse”) and functional limitations were administered at follow-up. The responses to the recovery question were related to the other factors used. Those “all better” had the lowest pain intensity, pain-related limitations, depression and work disability, and the best general physical health. Incrementally poorer recovery ratings on the recovery question were associated with greater pain, functional limitations and depression, poorer physical health and being off work, although “no improvement” and “getting a little worse” were similar. Recovery categories also reflected different degrees of actual improvements over the preceding follow-up period.
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