Background: Investigations on the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in occupational settings are often based on the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ) developed in Sweden by Kuorinka et al. (1986). Currently, a unified and validated German language version does not exist. Furthermore, the original version contains inconsistencies. According to German legislation (ArbMedVV), occupational healthcare is to be offered in cases of strain to the musculoskeletal system, which is why there is a need to develop and to validate a German language version.
Objective: The objective was to analyze how international studies are currently using the NMQ. Requirements for a German language version are to be derived from this.
Material and methods: A narrative review was undertaken. The PubMed database was searched for studies that used NMQ to investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in people of working age. The results were descriptively analyzed.
Results: Most of the 132 identified publications used a modified version of NMQ. Mostly 12-month and 7‑day prevalences were investigated. Information on the prevalence of complaints in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, neck and the lower back was most frequently requested. Modifications were made based in particular on query logic and the regions of the body to be examined.
Conclusion: The NMQ is a widely and internationally used instrument that is largely adapted to the respective requirements of the relevant investigation. A reformulation of NMQ should be short and modular. It should contain a simple query logic and be applicable both in epidemiological studies in the workplace and occupational health care.
Please download the article "Use of the Nordic questionnaire on musculoskeletal complaints" (in German only).
L. Kreis, F. Liebers, M. Dulon, S. Freitag, U. Latza:
Verwendung des Nordischen Fragebogens zu Muskel-Skelett-Beschwerden.
in: Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Volume 71, Issue 4 2021. pages 184-191, Project number: F 2457, DOI: 10.1007/s40664-021-00423-z