The Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) is a widely used 10-item paper and pencil measure of disability resulting from low back pain. However, few studies have assessed the psychometric properties of the instrument. This study evaluated the response set bias, the internal consistency, and the construct validity of the ODQ.
The original ODQ was compared to seven modified versions to examine whether a response set bias existed. The internal consistency of the ODQ was assessed using the Cronbach alpha. Finally, the relationship between scores on the ODQ and the Roland Morris Functional Disability Scal (RM) was examined.
Seven modified versions of the ODQ were developed from the original. One of the eight versions was randomly allocated to 102 adult patients presenting with low lack pain. There was no attempt to select patients on the basis of pain intensity or prior treatment so as to maximize the range and diversity of low back pain sufferers.
Results suggest that the responses given on the eight versions of the ODQ are a function of content and not of the format in which the items are presented. The ODQ also has strong internal consisstency (alpha = 0.85) and is strongly correlated to the RM (r = .70, p = .0005). The ODQ is a significant predictor of the RM scores (T-9.45, p = .0005) and duration of symptoms (T = -2.17,p .0325).
The ODQ appears to possess stable psychometric properties. The use of more than one version provides practitioners with a means of repeatedly assessing the disability levels of patients suffering from low back pain over the course of treatment.
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