Factor structure of the Oxford Shoulder Score: secondary analyses of the UK FROST and PROFHER trial populations

J. Simpson*, A. Keding, S. Spencer, S. Brealey, A. Rangan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Frozen shoulder and proximal humeral fracture can cause pain, stiffness and loss of function. The impact of these symptoms on patients can be measured using the comprehensively validated, 12-item Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS). Evidence suggests that pain and function may have a differential impact on patients’ experience of shoulder conditions, and this may be important for clinical management. We therefore explored the factor structure of the OSS within the UK FROST and PROFHER trial populations.

We performed exploratory factor analysis (EFA), followed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), on baseline UK FROST data from 490 of the 503 trial participants. Data at 6 months post-randomisation were used for 228 of the 250 participants for the PROFHER trial.

UK FROST factor extraction results, using Velicer's Minimum Average Partial and Horn's Parallel Analysis tests, suggested a unifactorial solution, but two factors were weakly indicated by the less reliable ‘Kaiser’s eigenvalue > 1’ and scree tests. We explored this further using EFA. Eight items (2 to 7, 9 and 10) loaded onto a ‘Function’ factor, three on a ‘Pain’ factor (1, 8 and 12) and item 11 cross-loaded. However, one- and two-factor models were rejected in CFA. Factor extraction of PROFHER data at 6 months demonstrated a single first-order factor solution, which was also subsequently rejected in CFA.

Insufficient evidence was found, within the constraints of the data available, to support the use of ‘Pain’ and ‘Function’ sub-scales of the OSS in either patient population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number846
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
Early online date8 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023


  • Proximal humeral fracture
  • Pain
  • Function
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Factor structure
  • Shoulder Fractures/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Shoulder
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Fracture Fixation/methods
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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