Purpose: Knee-specific patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are important tools in evaluating the effectiveness of sports medicine interventions. The PROMs were originally developed for paper administration, but electronic data capture technologies offer potential benefits such as increased efficiency and accuracy. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of touch screen versus paper administration using several common knee-specific and general health surveys. Methods: Agreement between scores was compared for knee-specific PROMs administered on paper versus computer; paper versus tablet; computer versus tablet in 60 patients per group undergoing ACL reconstruction. Surveys were given at pre-operative assessment and between 1 and 7 days later. Weighted kappa statistic (κ) and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated to test agreement between the two modalities in: IKDC Subjective Knee Form, Marx Activity Scale, Tegner Activity Level Scale, and Lysholm Knee Scale. SF-12 Physical and Mental Component Summary scores were also assessed. Results: Response rate was over 90 %. Mean age was 29.6 ± 10.9 years, with patients in the paper–computer cohort being 4 years older than in the other groups. Agreement was substantial or better for all PROMs collected: IKDC Subjective (ICC: 0.79); Marx (ICC: 0.70); Lysholm (ICC: 0.65); and Tegner (κ = 0.67). Agreement for the SF-12 PCS (ICC: 0.77) and MCS (ICC: 0.73) was also found to have substantial agreement. Conclusion: In conclusion, touch screen-based PROMs are a valid capture method, providing reliable results relative to traditional paper survey administration. Digital methods of direct data capture may also foster multi-centre collaborations and allow for more accurate comparisons of outcomes between patient groups in clinical practice and orthopaedic research. Level of evidence: II.
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