“I am excited that we are now bringing together the expertise of patients and international professionals.”
‘Never create your own measurement instrument.’ That is what everyone told me at the end of the 1990s when I explored the possibility of developing a scale for assessing scars. At that time, I was halfway through my Ph.D project in which we compared the effectiveness of skin replacements in improving the quality of burn scars. Throughout this project, I was surprised by the scarcity of measuring instruments that I could use to measure the quality of scars. However, the pioneering work by Sullivan & Smith (1990) provided us with the tool that has become known as the Vancouver Scar Scale.
As is quite clear by now, I completely ignored the serious advice from the experts during my Ph.D. During the nineties, there was relatively little consideration for the opinion of patients regarding their experience, involvement and treatment outcome when seeking care. Thankfully, the world has changed! Today we acknowledge the importance of the patient opinion, which is noticeable in the development and implementation of various patient reported outcome measures. In the POSAS the patient’s opinion was included from the very beginning, as it combines the opinion of patients and observers regarding the quality of scars.
I am happy that I ignored the advice that had been giving to me regarding the development of the POSAS. I am also really proud of what we have achieved up until now. Futhermore, I am excited that we are now bringing together the expertise of patients and the input of many international professionals for the development of the POSAS version 3.0. I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it.
– Paul van Zuijlen, Founder of POSAS