Systematic review of cross-cultural adaptations of McGill Pain Questionnaire reveals a paucity of clinimetric testing

J Clin Epidemiol. 2009 Sep;62(9):934-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.03.019.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify the available cross-cultural adaptations of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), to describe the clinimetric testing that has occurred for each adaptation and to evaluate both the quality of the adaptation procedures and the clinimetric testing for each version.

Study design and setting: This study is a systematic review. Searches of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL databases were used to identify relevant studies. Data on the quality of the adaptation procedures and clinimetric testing were extracted using current guidelines.

Results: Forty-four different versions of the MPQ were identified representing 26 different languages/cultures. Regardless of the method of cross-cultural adaptation, clinimetric testing of the adapted questionnaires was generally poorly performed and for 18 versions no clinimetric testing has been undertaken.

Conclusions: Although the MPQ has been adapted into a large number of languages, because of inadequate testing most of the adaptations have unknown clinimetric properties. This situation means that users should be cautious when interpreting scores from adapted questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Low Back Pain / ethnology
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires