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Validation of a revised version of the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire

Project number: F 2457 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege (BGW) Status: Completed Project

Description:

A standardised assessment of musculoskeletal disorders is vital to obtain reliable data about the impacts of heavy physical loads at work. With this in mind, the development and testing of the new Nordic Questionnaire for the Analysis of Musculoskeletal Symptoms (NMQ) based on the questionnaire by Kuorinka et al. (1987) was undertaken.

The aims of this project were to evaluate the NMQ’s practicality and review the correctness of its content  with the help of interviews with experts.

This involved sending the NMQ and a feedback form to an ad-hoc sample of interested individuals. Willing respondents were sent the questionnaire again one or two weeks later in order to evaluate the test-retest reliability by test repetition. The results were analysed descriptively. In addition, experts appraised the content of the questionnaire qualitatively with a written appraisal.

Overall, the questionnaire was found to be comprehensible, clear, and of acceptable length. Necessary changes included, among other things, information relating to the pain respondents had experienced and occupational factors. The consulted experts approved of the selection, labelling, and marking of the parts of the body and questions regarding the occurrence of symptoms in the last twelve months and last four weeks. The experts recommended also assessing complaints in the last 7 days as a more recent time interval that is easier to recall. The overall opinion was positive.

The NMQ meets expectations concerning its practicality, test-retest reliability, and the validity of content. The findings were taken into account in the revised version of the NMQ. The NMQ questionnaire can now be used, for example, in workplace surveys or preventive occupational health care screenings.

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