The Canadian minimum dataset for chronic low back pain research: a cross-cultural adaptation of the National Institutes of Health Task Force Research Standards

CMAJ Open. 2017 Mar 10;5(1):E237-E248. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20160117. eCollection 2017 Jan-Mar.


Background: To better standardize clinical and epidemiological studies about the prevalence, risk factors, prognosis, impact and treatment of chronic low back pain, a minimum data set was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain. The aim of the present study was to develop a culturally adapted questionnaire that could be used for chronic low back pain research among French-speaking populations in Canada.

Methods: The adaptation of the French Canadian version of the minimum data set was achieved according to guidelines for the cross-cultural adaptation of self-reported measures (double forward-backward translation, expert committee, pretest among 35 patients with pain in the low back region). Minor cultural adaptations were also incorporated into the English version by the expert committee (e.g., items about race/ethnicity, education level).

Results: This cross-cultural adaptation provides an equivalent French-Canadian version of the minimal data set questionnaire and a culturally adapted English-Canadian version. Modifications made to the original NIH minimum data set were minimized to facilitate comparison between the Canadian and American versions.

Interpretation: The present study is a first step toward the use of a culturally adapted instrument for phenotyping French- and English-speaking low back pain patients in Canada. Clinicians and researchers will recognize the importance of this standardized tool and are encouraged to incorporate it into future research studies on chronic low back pain.