SCORING TECHNIQUE FOR THE OSWESTRY LOW BACK DISABILITY QUESTIONNAIRE AND NECK DISABILITY INDEX
1. Each of the 10 sections is scored separately (0 to 5 points each) and then added up (max. total = 50).
Section 1. Pain Intensity Point Value
A. ___ I have no pain at the moment 0
B. ___ The pain is very mild at the moment 1
C. ___ The pain is moderate at the moment 2
D. ___ The pain is fairly severe at the moment 3
E. ___ The pain is very severe at the moment 4
F. ___ The pain is the worst imaginable 5
2. If all 10 sections are completed, simply double the patient’s score.
3. If a section is omitted, divide the patient’s total score by the number of sections completed times 5.
Formula: Patient’s Score
X 100 = ___________ % DISABILITY
No. of sections completed x 5
If 9 of 10 sections are completed, divide the patient’s score by 9 x 5 = 45.
Patient’s Score 22
Number of sections completed: 9 (9 x 5 = 45)
22/45 x 100 = 48% disability
SCORE INTERPRETATION OF THE OSWESTRY LBP DISABILITY QUESTIONNAIRE
0-20% Minimal disability Can cope with most ADLs. Usually no treatment is needed, apart from advice on lifting, sitting, posture, physical fitness, and diet. In this group, some patients have particular difficulty with sitting and this may be important if their occupation is sedentary (typist, driver, etc.)
20-40% Moderate disability This group experiences more pain and problems with sitting, lifting, and standing. Travel and social life are more difficult and they may well be off work. Personal care, sexual activity, and sleeping are not grossly affected, and the back condition can usually be managed by conservative means.
40-60% Severe disability Pain remains the main problem in this group of patients, but travel, personal care, social life, sexual activity, and sleep are also affected. These patients require detailed investigation.
60-80% Crippled Back pain impinges on all aspects of these patients’ lives both at home and at work. Positive intervention is required.
80-100% These patients are either bed-bound or exaggerating their symptoms. This can be evaluated by careful observation of the patient during the medical examination.
Data compiled from Fairbanks et al, 1980.