Spine Outcome Measurements: Oswestry Disability Questionnaire

outcome measures Jun 24, 2023
Oswestry Disability Questionnaire

The Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) is a widely used outcome measure for assessing back and leg pain-related disability. It is a self-administered questionnaire that asks the patient to rate their level of functional disability in 10 domains of daily life activities including pain intensity, personal care, lifting, walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, sex life, social life, and traveling.

The ODQ is typically used in clinical settings to assess the functional status of patients with back and leg pain, including those with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and other spinal disorders. It can also be used to monitor the progress of treatment over time. The ODQ is suitable for use in patients aged 16 years and older, and can be administered in person or via mail or electronic formats.

The ODQ produces a score between 0 and 100, with a higher score indicating a greater level of disability. The interpretation of ODQ scores can be based on the following categories:

  • 0-20: Minimal disability
  • 21-40: Moderate disability
  • 41-60: Severe disability
  • 61-80: Crippled
  • 81-100: Bed-bound

There is no specific cutoff for what is considered a "normal" ODQ score, as it can vary based on the individual patient population and their level of functional impairment. However, in general, a score of 0-20 can be considered minimal disability, while a score above 60 indicates a significant level of functional impairment.



  1. Fairbank, J. C., & Pynsent, P. B. (2000). The Oswestry Disability Index. Spine, 25(22), 2940-2952.
  2. Ostelo, R. W., Deyo, R. A., Stratford, P., Waddell, G., Croft, P., & Von Korff, M. (2008). Interpreting change scores for pain and functional status in low back pain: towards international consensus regarding minimal important change. Spine, 33(1), 90-94.
  3. Vianin, M. (2008). Psychometric properties and clinical usefulness of the Oswestry Disability Index. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 7(4), 161-163.
  4. Reddy, M., Taylor, H. G., Feiveson, A. H., & Greenleaf, J. E. (1998). Validation of a self-report inventory for assessing the symptoms and impact of space motion sickness. Journal of vestibular research: equilibrium & orientation, 8(3), 253-260.

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