Reproducibility of histories of low-back pain obtained by self-administered questionnaire

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1991 Sep;16(9):1075-7. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199109000-00011.


To test the repeatability of information about low-back pain elicited by self-administered questionnaire, histories obtained from 225 men and women were compared at an interval of 12 months. There was good agreement on whether subjects had ever suffered low-back pain (k = 0.82) and on whether the pain had ever led to consultation with a general practitioner (k = 0.76) or absence from work (k = 0.76). Information about the speed of onset of symptoms as well as histories of associated sciatica and disability for everyday activities were less reproducible. Epidemiologic studies based on such data must be interpreted with appropriate caution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires