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Measurement properties of the musculoskeletal health questionnaire (MSK-HQ): a between country comparison

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BACKGROUND: The Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ) has been developed to measure musculoskeletal health status across musculoskeletal conditions and settings. However, the MSK-HQ needs to be further evaluated across settings and different languages.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare measurement properties of the MSK-HQ across Danish (DK) and English (UK) cohorts of patients from primary care physiotherapy services with musculoskeletal pain.

METHODS: MSK-HQ was translated into Danish according to international guidelines. Measurement invariance was assessed by differential item functioning (DIF) analyses. Test-retest reliability, measurement error, responsiveness and minimal clinically important change (MCIC) were evaluated and compared between DK (n = 153) and UK (n = 166) cohorts.

RESULTS: The Danish version demonstrated acceptable face and construct validity. Out of the 14 MSK-HQ items, three items showed DIF for language (pain/stiffness at night, understanding condition and confidence in managing symptoms) and three items showed DIF for pain location (walking, washing/dressing and physical activity levels). Intraclass Correlation Coefficients for test-retest were 0.86 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.91) for DK cohort and 0.77 (95% CI 0.49 to 0.90) for the UK cohort. The systematic measurement error was 1.6 and 3.9 points for the DK and UK cohorts respectively, with random measurement error being 8.6 and 9.9 points. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of the change scores against patients' own judgment at 12 weeks exceeded 0.70 in both cohorts. Absolute and relative MCIC estimates were 8-10 points and 26% for the DK cohort and 6-8 points and 29% for the UK cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: The measurement properties of MSK-HQ were acceptable across countries, but seem more suited for group than individual level evaluation. Researchers and clinicians should be aware that some discrepancy exits and should take the observed measurement error into account when evaluating change in scores over time.

TidsskriftHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2020

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