Results Summary

PCORI funded the Pilot Projects to explore how to conduct and use patient-centered outcomes research in ways that can better serve patients and the healthcare community. Learn more.


The Movement Ability Measure (MAM) is a survey that asks patients in physical therapy about how they move now and how they would like to move. The survey covers six areas of movement: flexibility, strength, accuracy, speed, adaptability, and endurance. Physical therapists can use the survey to help understand patient movement goals in physical therapy.

Project Purpose

The research team wanted to learn whether a computer-based version of the MAM survey could help physical therapists learn about and use patient preferences during physical therapy visits, so that they would be able to provide better treatment for their patients.


The research team recruited adult patients from physical therapy clinics. A total of 367 patients enrolled in the study, and 326 patients answered enough MAM questions for the research team to study.

The researchers put the patients into two groups. In the first group, the researchers did not give the physical therapist their patient’s MAM survey answers. This group had 62 people in it. In the second group, the researchers gave the physical therapist their patient’s MAM survey answers to help the therapist plan care. The second group had 264 people in it. Patients in both groups took the survey before physical therapy started, when physical therapy ended, and then again 30 days later.

The researchers looked at the notes that a physical therapist takes when working with a patient. Researchers looked at the level of agreement between the physical therapy notes and the patients’ answers to the MAM survey to see how well physical therapists understood and used patient movement goals during physical therapy.

The researchers then compared the two groups to learn whether sharing the MAM scores with therapists made a difference in the patients’ progress toward their movement goals.


The agreement between patients and physical therapists on the goals of care improved when physical therapists and patients reviewed the results of the MAM together.

Physical therapy helped patients in both groups improve their movement. However, patients in the group where physical therapists saw the MAM scores made more progress toward their goals than the group where their therapists did not see the MAM scores.


For the people in this study, physical therapy mainly focused on improving flexibility and strength. Results might not be the same for physical therapy that focuses on other movement goals, like endurance.

Importance of Findings

Using the MAM survey can help physical therapists work with patients to meet their goals in physical therapy. Physical therapists who took part in the study felt that using the MAM would help all patients in physical therapy.

Sharing the Results

The research team received additional funding from PCORI to add the MAM to electronic health records and make it available at other clinics. The research team has published on the results of this project (see below).

Project Information

Diane D. Allen, PT, PhD
San Francisco State University
Mind the Gap—Targeting Differences in Patients' Current and Preferred Abilities

Key Dates

June 2012
December 2014

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Funding Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 11, 2024