Introduction: The main concern of patients with low back pain is the functional limitation which the symptoms cause. Therefore it is important to find a valid tool by means of which their functional level can be assessed. The aim of this study was to validate the first Danish translation of the Roland Morris Questionnaire (RMQ), which evaluates the functional level of activity of patients with low back pain and possible sciatica. The RMQ was compared with the functional scale of a Danish functional and pain level questionnaire, The Low Back Pain Rating Scale (RS), and the functional scale (PF) of the SF-36.
Material and methods: Independently, three professionals made a retroversion of the RMQ. Then 135 patients with lumbar disc herniation completed the RMQ, RS and the SF-36. The patients comprised 47% women and 53% men with an average age of 43 years.
Results: A significant correlation between the RMQ and the other two questionnaires was found. RMQ-RS; r = 0.89, p < or = 0.001, RMQ-PF (SF-36); r = -0.88 p < or = 0.001. A Chronbach Alpha showed a value of 0.94 (scale 0-1). Differences in scores between the three questionnaires were within the 95% limits of agreement. The average RMQ score was 10% higher than the score of RS and PF (SF-36).
Conclusion: According to this study the RMQ can be used as a valid tool in the assessment of the functional level of patients with lumbar pain and previous lumbar herniation. Due to the fact that the questionnaire is fast and easy to complete, it is valid, reliable and sensitive and widely used internationally. We recommend the questionnaire to be used as a supplement to the clinical examination both in clinical practice and in research.