The Patient-Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) scale is a patient-reported measure of disability used by at least 3 North American multiple sclerosis (MS) registries. We conducted a systematic review of the psychometric properties of the PDDS scale as part of a harmonization effort related to disability measures used in MS registries.


We searched the EMBASE, Ovid Medline, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, CINAHL Plus, and databases from database inception through July 28, 2020. Two reviewers independently screened abstracts and full-text reports for study inclusion and data extraction and assessed study quality and risk of bias. We included studies that assessed the validity or reliability of the PDDS scale. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize the findings.


From the 2476 abstracts screened, 234 articles underwent full-text review, of which 5 met the inclusion criteria. These studies assessed criterion validity, construct validity, and test-retest reliability. In all studies, criterion validity was assessed by correlating the PDDS scale score with the Expanded Disability Status Scale score (pooled r = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.66–0.79). Test-retest reliability was high (pooled intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92–0.99).


In this systematic review, the PDDS scale demonstrated criterion and construct validity for assessing disability in individuals with MS who have mild to moderate disabilities. This review also supports the test-retest reliability of the PDDS scale, although further studies with larger samples are needed.

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