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Chiropractic Research Review

Validity of the Neck Pain and Disability Scale

Although several measures exist for quantifying generalized pain and disability, the authors of this study claim that there are no well-developed measures specific for assessing neck pain. As a result, the Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPAD), consisting of 20 items that assess neck pain, was developed by the authors, then tested for reliability and validity in a study involving 179 subjects.

The study population included 100 patients with neck pain, 52 patients with lower back and leg pain, and 27 pain-free volunteers.

All 179 subjects were assessed by way of the NPAD, while 47 of the patients with neck pain were also rated by other established psychometric instruments (the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire and the Pain Disability Index) for comparative purposes.

Results suggest that the NPAD is a reliable diagnostic tool for evaluating neck pain, correlating well with the Oswestry and Pain Disability Index. The NPAD proved effective in distinguishing patients with neck pain from patients with back/leg pain and pain-free subjects. Clinicians may find this information useful in their practice; a complete copy of the NPAD is included in the full text of this study for further analysis and review.

Wheeler AH, Goolkasian P, Baird AC, et al. Development of the neck pain and disability scale. Spine, July 1, 1999:24(13), pp1290-94.

Chiropractic Research Review

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