The purpose of this study was to translate and culturally adapt the Dutch version of the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire (SMFA-NL) and to investigate the internal consistency, validity, repeatability and responsiveness of the translated version. The original SMFA was first translated and culturally adapted from English into Dutch according to a standardised procedure and subsequently tested for clinimetric quality. The study population consisted of 162 patients treated for various musculoskeletal injuries or disorders at the departments of Orthopedics and Traumatology. All respondents filled in the SMFA-NL and the SF-36 and a region-specific questionnaire. To determine repeatability, 87 respondents filled in the SMFA-NL for a second time after a time interval of three to four weeks. To determine responsiveness, 29 respondents who were treated for their injury within three months before the first assessment filled in the SMFA-NL for a second time after two to three months. The following analyses were performed to evaluate clinimetric quality of the SMFA-NL: factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha (internal consistency), floor and ceiling effects, Spearman's Rho (construct validity), intraclass correlation coefficients and the Bland & Altman method (repeatability), and standardised response means (SRM) (responsiveness). Factor analysis demonstrated four subscales of the SMFA-NL. Both the newly identified subscales of the SMFA-NL and the conventional subscales of the SMFA showed good internal consistency. No floor and some ceiling effects were found. Construct validity was good, as high correlations were found between the subscales of the SMFA-NL and the respective subscales of the SF-36 and the region-specific questionnaires. Repeatability of the SMFA-NL subscales was high, with no systematic bias between first and second assessment. Responsiveness of the SMFA-NL was moderate, as small to moderate SRMs were found. We successfully translated and culturally adapted a Dutch version of the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire (SFMA-NL). This study shows that the SMFA-NL is a valid, reliable and moderately responsive method for the assessment of functional status of patients who have a broad range of musculoskeletal disorders. Furthermore, it will allow for comparison between different patient groups as well as for cross-cultural comparisons.
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