Objective: To compare the metric properties and validity of German versions of the WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities) and a self-administered questionnaire-format of the Lequesne-Algofunctional-Index in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the lower extremities.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of the instruments' internal consistency (Cronbach's coefficient alpha) and construct validity (correlation with radiological OA-severity and limitation in range-of-motion) in ambulatory patients and patients before hip arthroplasty. Test-retest reliability was assessed on a subsample after 10 days.
Results: Data from 51 patients out of 91 contacted could be analyzed. Twenty-nine patients had knee and 22 patients had hip OA. Both the WOMAC and Lequesne OA-indices and their scales or sections had a satisfactory test-retest reliability (Intraclass correlation coefficient 0.43-0.96). All scales of the WOMAC were internally consistent (Cronbach's coefficient alpha 0.81-0.96) and associated with radiological OA-severity and joint range of motion. However, only the function but not the symptom sections (Cronbach's coefficient alpha knee: 0.55; hip: 0.63) of the self-administered Lequesne OA index were internally consistent for both, patients with knee and hip OA. Also, the symptom components were not or only weakly associated with radiological OA-severity and joint range of motion.
Conclusions: Although our results are based on a German version using a self-report format we may caution using the self-administered Lequesne OA index without prior testing of its metric properties and validity.