Translation and validation of the German version of the Young Spine Questionnaire

BMC Pediatr. 2021 Aug 24;21(1):359. doi: 10.1186/s12887-021-02804-y.


Background: Back pain in childhood and adolescence increases the risk for back pain in adulthood, but validated assessment tools are scarce. The aim of this study was to validate the Young Spine Questionnaire (YSQ) in a German version (G-YSQ) in children and adolescents.

Methods: Children and adolescents between 10 and 16 years (N = 240, 166 females, mean age = 13.05 ± 1.70 years), recruited in chiropractic practices and schools, completed the G-YSQ (translated according to scientific guidelines) and the KIDSCREEN-10 (assessing health-related quality of life) at three time points. Test-retest reliability was determined calculating intraclass correlation coefficients [ICC(3,1)] using start and two week-data. Construct validity was investigated testing a priori hypotheses. To assess responsiveness, the patients additionally filled in the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) after three months and the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating curves was calculated.

Results: The ICC(3,1) was 0.88 for pain intensity and pain frequency, indicating good reliability, 0.68 for week prevalence and 0.60 for point prevalence, indicating moderate reliability. Pain intensity, frequency and prevalence differed between patients and controls (p < 0.001) and, except point prevalence, between older (> 12 years) and younger control participants (p < 0.01). Health-related quality of life of participants with severe pain (in one or several spinal regions) was lower (KIDSCREEN-10, total score: F(4,230) = 7.26, p < 0.001; KIDSCREEN-10, self-rated general health: H(4) = 51.94, p < 0.001) than that of participants without pain or with moderate pain in one spinal region. Thus, altogether these findings indicate construct validity of the G-YSQ. The AUC was 0.69 (95 % CI = 0.57-0.82) and 0.67 (95 % CI = 0.54-0.80) for week and point prevalence, respectively, indicating insufficient responsiveness of the G-YSQ.

Conclusions: Apart from the question on point prevalence, construct validity and sufficient test-retest reliability was shown for the G-YSQ. However, its responsiveness needs to be improved, possibly by asking for pain frequency during the last week instead of (dichotomous) week prevalence.

Trial registration:, NCT02955342, registered 07/09/2016, .

Keywords: Adolescence; Back pain; Childhood; Neck pain; Reliability; Responsiveness; Validity; Young Spine Questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data