Development and test-retest reliability of an extended version of the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ-E): a screening instrument for musculoskeletal pain

J Pain. 2009 May;10(5):517-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.11.008. Epub 2009 Apr 2.


The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) quantifies musculoskeletal pain and activity prevention in 9 body regions. The purpose of this study was to develop an extended NMQ (NMQ-E) to collect greater information regarding musculoskeletal pain, examine test-retest reliability and the reproducibility of alternate administration methods. Reliability was examined using observed proportion of agreement for all (P(o)), positive (P(pos)) and negative (P(neg)) responses, kappa (kappa), proportion of maximum kappa achieved (kappa/kappa(max)), intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of measurement (SEM). The NMQ-E was self-administered by 59 Bachelor of Nursing students at a 24-h interval with mean P(o) = 0.88-0.98 and kappa/kappa(max) = 0.71-0.96 for 10 dichotomous questions and mean ICC((2,1)) = 0.97 and SEM = 1.05 years for the age at symptom onset question. The NMQ-E was completed via self and interview administration by 31 student nurses at a 0.97 +/- 1.14 day interval with mean P(o) = 0.92-0.98 and kappa/kappa(max) = 0.76-1.00 for binary questions and mean ICC((2,1)) = 0.90 and SEM = 1.51 years for age at symptom onset data. In both sub-studies, mean P(pos) was lower than mean P(neg) and low prevalence reduced kappa in many instances. The NMQ-E collects reliable information regarding the onset, prevalence, and consequences of musculoskeletal pain and can be administered by self-completion and personal interview.

Perspective: This study presents an NMQ-E that collects reliable information regarding the onset, prevalence, and consequences of musculoskeletal pain in 9 body regions. The NMQ-E can be utilized in descriptive studies or longitudinal studies of disease outcome and can be administered via self-completion and personal interview.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Cohort Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult