Name and Synonyms
Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, Roland-Morris Questionnaire, RMQ, RMDQ.
Roland MO, Morris RW. A study of the natural history of back pain. Part 1: Development of a reliable and sensitive measure of disability in low back pain. Spine 1983; 8: 141-144.
The Roland-Morris Questionnaire is one of the most widely used questionnaires which have been designed for back pain. It has been shown to yield reliable measurements, which are valid for inferring the level of disability, and to be sensitive to change over time for groups of patients with low back pain.
Structure / Content
The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire is a self-administered disability questionnaire consist of 24 items (see below). Those 24 questions are related specifically to physical functions that were likely to be affected by low back pain. Each item was qualified with the phrase “because of my back pain” to distinguish back pain disability from disability due to other causes—a distinction that patients are in general able to make without difficulty. Patients completing the RDQ are asked to place a check mark beside a statement if it applies to them that day.
Scoring MethodThe Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire is scored by adding up the number of items checked by the patient. It is not recommended to give patients a ‘Yes’ / ‘No’ option. If patients indicate in any way that an item is not applicable to them, the item is scored ‘No’. Then, simply count the scores for a result between 0 and 24.
InterpretationGreater levels of disability are reflected by higher numbers. Scores under 4 and over 20 may not show significant change over time in patients with scores of less than 4 and deterioration in patients who have scores greater than 20.
Validity / Reliability / Predictive Ability
Numerous papers have been published on the validity, reliability and psychometric properties of the RMDQ (see references).
The Roland-Morris Questionnaire has been developed by Martin Roland, Director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester, UK. The RDQ was derived from the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), which is a 136-item health status measure covering many aspects of physical and mental function.
Versions / TranslationsA 18-item version does exist. Also, some uses 23-item version. 36 translations and adaptations are available. They can be found at an external link: here.
Apllication and time to doAlthough designed for administration on paper, the RDQ has also been satisfactorily administered on computer and by telephone. It takes 5 minutes (or less) to complete.
CostNone. The original questionnaire and all translations are in the public domain.
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