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Aim: An international Clinical Outcomes Group consisting of clinicians, scientists, patient advocacy groups, and industries identified a need for a scale to measure motor performance of the upper limb. We report the steps leading to the development of the Performance of the Upper Limb (PUL), a tool specifically designed for assessing upper limb function in ambulant and non-ambulant patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Method: The development of the PUL followed a number of steps, from the systematic review and a preliminary study exploring the suitability of the existing measures, to the application of a pilot version in a multicentric setting, with Rasch analysis of the preliminary results, leading to a revised pro forma. Results: The PUL was specifically designed for DMD, with a conceptual framework reflecting the progression of weakness and natural history of functional decline in DMD. Modern psychometric methods were used to create a scale with robust internal reliability, validity, and hierarchical scalability; males with DMD and their families were involved iteratively throughout the process of the clinician-reported outcome assessment tool development to establish clinical meaningfulness and relevance of individual PUL items to activities of daily living. Interpretation: The module was developed using innovative approaches and will be useful for designing clinical trials. © 2013 Mac Keith Press.

Original publication




Journal article


Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Publication Date





1038 - 1045