Methodological quality of studies on the measurement properties of neck pain and disability questionnaires: a systematic review

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011 May;34(4):261-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 May 4.


Objective: The aim of this study was to obtain an overview of the methodological quality of studies on the measurement properties of neck pain and disability questionnaires and to describe how well various aspects of the design and statistical analyses of studies on measurement properties are performed.

Methods: A systematic review was performed of published studies on the measurement properties of neck pain and disability questionnaires. Two reviewers independently rated the quality of the studies using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. This checklist was developed in an international Delphi consensus study.

Results: A total of 47 articles were included on the measurement properties of 8 different questionnaires. The methodological quality of the included studies was adequate on some aspects (often, adequate statistical analyses are used for assessing reliability, measurement error, and construct validity) but can be improved on other aspects. The most important methodological aspects that need to be improved are as follows: assessing unidimensionality in internal consistency analysis, stable patients and similar test conditions in studies on reliability and measurement error, and more emphasis on the relevance and comprehensiveness of the items in content validity studies. Furthermore, it is recommended that studies on construct validity and responsiveness should be based on predefined hypotheses and that better statistical methods should be used in responsiveness studies.

Conclusion: Considering the importance of adequate measurement properties, it is concluded that, in the field of measuring neck pain and disability, there is room for improvement in the methodological quality of studies measurement properties.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Humans
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*