Psychometric properties and clinical usefulness of the Oswestry Disability Index

J Chiropr Med. 2008 Dec;7(4):161-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2008.07.001.


Objective: Outcome measures with good reliability, validity, responsiveness, and low burden of administration are clinically useful. The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) is one of the most commonly used outcome measures for individuals with low back pain. Psychometric properties of the ODI will determine the questionnaire's suitability as a useful clinical tool.

Methods: A literature search of relevant databases on psychometric evaluation of the ODI was performed. The search was done using the key words disability evaluation, and low back pain, and questionnaires, and reproducibility of results, and the term Oswestry. Inclusion criterion was direct reference regarding psychometric property, interpretability, and burden being included in the abstract.

Results: Eight articles met the inclusion criterion. The ODI shows good construct validity; internal consistency is rated as acceptable; test-retest reliability and responsiveness have been shown to be high; and burden of administration is low.

Conclusions: The ODI is a valid, reliable, and responsive condition-specific assessment tool that is suited for use in clinical practice. It is easy to administer and score, objectifies clients' complaints, and monitors effects of therapy.