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Legault, Élise P; Cantin, Vincent; Descarreaux, Martin (2014)
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal: BMC Pediatrics
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Research Article, Adolescents, Musculoskeletal disorders, Musculoskeletal symptoms, Validation
Background Valid and reliable instruments measuring musculoskeletal symptoms prevalence and their impacts in the adolescent population are scarce. The Extended Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ-E) is a reliable instrument that measures the prevalence, severity and impact of musculoskeletal symptoms. The purpose of this study was: (1) to develop a musculoskeletal symptom screening tool for younger populations derived from the NMQ-E and NMQ French versions and (2) to assess the validity and reliability of the adapted version of the instrument. Methods Based on the results of a translated (French) and adapted NMQ-E administered to 61 adolescents, a final 27-item dichotomous questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire measured the 6-month prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and the impact of these symptoms on school attendance as well as on sports and leisure activity participation. Among the adolescents who agreed to participate, thirty-nine (mean age: 13.7 ± 1.8) formed the reliability cohort and thirty-four (mean age: 14.2 ± 2.3) formed the criterion validity cohort. Reliability was measured by test-retest with a mean time interval of 28 hours. Criterion validity was assessed by comparing the answers to the questionnaires to the participants’ clinical records. Statistical tests used were proportions of observed agreement (Po) and the Cohen kappa statistic (k). Results The mean Po for the test-retest was 0.92 for the 6-month symptom prevalence items, 0.99 for the impact of symptoms on school items and 0.96 for the impact on sports and leisure activities items. Kappa values for the reliability assessment ranged between 0.57 and 1.00 for the 27 dichotomous variables. The criterion validity kappa obtained for the agreement between participants’ clinical records and questionnaires was k = 0.76. Conclusions Kappa values for the reliability and the criterion validity are of moderate to perfect agreement beyond chance, indicating that there are only minor variations between tests, and good agreement between questionnaire items and clinical records. These results indicate that the adapted version of the NMQ-E is an appropriate self-administered musculoskeletal symptom screening tool for the adolescent population. Items related to the impacts of symptoms would benefit from additional validation using school and sport attendance records.

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