Simple Shoulder Test (SST) Clinical Workflow

Simple Shoulder Test flow


The shoulder is essential for many activities of daily living. The ability of the shoulder to carry out these functions characterizes perhaps the most important aspect of its health. Conversely, the severity of shoulder conditions may be documented in terms of the compromise of these functions.

Because of the critical importance of systematic documentation of shoulder function, the Simple Shoulder Test (SST) was developed: a series of 12 "yes" or "no" questions the patient answers about the function of the involved shoulder. The answers to these questions provides a standardized way of recording the function of a shoulder before and after treatment. Our practice is to obtain the Simple Shoulder Test on all patients presenting to the University of Washington Shoulder and Elbow Service so we will have a benchmark for comparison of their subsequent course[1].

The Simple Shoulder Test is standardized, simple, short, practical and free to all who would like to use it. Here is an Adobe Acrobat version of the Simple Shoulder Test.

The Simple Shoulder Test flow contains the Simple Shoulder Test (SST) questionnaire and associated calculation. After form submission, the Simple Shoulder Test calculation is executed automatically. It's easy to extend this flow with conditional logic based on the interpretation of the Simple Shoulder Test calculation.

Simple Shoulder Test (SST) questionnaire


The questions of the SST are:

  1. Is your shoulder comfortable with your arm at rest by your side?
  2. Does your shoulder allow you to sleep comfortably?
  3. Can you reach the small of your back to tuck in your shirt with your hand?
  4. Can you place your hand behind your head with the elbow straight out to the side?
  5. Can you place a coin on a shelf at the level of your shoulder without bending your elbow?
  6. Can you lift one pound (a full pint container) to the level of your shoulder without bending your elbow?
  7. Can you lift eight pounds (a full gallon container) to the level of the top of your head without bending your elbow?
  8. Can you carry 20 pounds at your side with the affected extremity?
  9. Do you think you can toss a softball underhand 10 yards with the affected extremity?
  10. Do you think you can throw a softball overhand 20 yards with the affected extremity?
  11. Can you wash the back of your opposite shoulder with the affected extremity?
  12. Would your shoulder allow you to work full-time at your usual job?

Each question can be answered with "Disagree" (score = 0) or "Agree" (score = 1).

Click here to see the English version of the SST.
Click here to see the Dutch version of the SST.


The higher the score, the less functional constraints the affected shoulder causes.



Get started with Awell

Ready to use this care flow in your organization?

Build websites rapidly with over 100 interface blocks.