The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 291–305 | Cite as

Development of a Questionnaire to Assess the Impact of Chronic Low Back Pain for Use in Regulated Clinical Trials

  • Jonathan StokesEmail author
  • Christopher J. Evans
  • Farrah Pompilus
  • Alan L. Shields
  • Kent H. Summers
Original Research Article



Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most common chronic pain condition and is associated with clinical, economic, social, and public health impacts. The effect of CLBP on patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is significant. The symptoms and impacts most often associated with CLBP include pain and disability; patients most affected are often crippled by the condition. CLBP also affects patients’ mental, physical, and psychosocial well-being. A variety of self-report measures have been developed for the assessment of CLBP, such as the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ); however, existing measures may not meet current regulatory expectation for the development, documentation, and use of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) questionnaires (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 2009).


This report describes the qualitative development of the Chronic Low Back Pain Impact Questionnaire (CLBP-IQ), created for use in clinical trials.


A total of 22 CLBP patients recruited by clinicians participated in concept elicitation interviews to identify target measurement concepts. An instrument development team generated the instructions, items, and response options guided by patient input. Cognitive debriefing interviews were conducted with 21 patients recruited by the same clinicians who recruited for concept elicitation interviews. During cognitive interviews, a draft instrument composed of 28 items was presented to individuals with CLBP to evaluate its readability and comprehensiveness. All research activities were conducted in the US.


During concept elicitation interviews, participants reported a variety of physical, emotional, and social impacts associated with CLBP. Participants also reported CLBP impacts on sleep, energy, daily activities, work, household activities, leisure activities, cognition, self-care, and sex life. Impacts deemed simple, important, and relevant to CLBP patients became targets of measurement for the CLBP-IQ. During cognitive debriefing, seventeen items were interpreted as intended by at least 90 % of participants, and no items were interpreted incorrectly by more than five patients (24 %). Additionally, seventeen items were experienced by at least 90 % of participants, and no single item was experienced by less than 67 % of participants (n = 14).


The CLBP-IQ was developed in accordance with current US Food and Drug Administration guidance on instrument development. Results from both concept elicitation and cognitive debriefing interviews support the content validity of the CLBP-IQ in patients with CLBP. Future development should proceed with psychometric evaluation.


Oswestry Disability Index Cognitive Interview Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire Concept Elicitation Cognitive Debriefing Interview 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge Andrea Zeytoonjian, Megan Daggett, Roger Lamoureux, and Gina Kevane for their assistance in the conduct of the research reported herein.


Funding source Endo Pharmaceuticals sponsored the research activities presented here for the development of the Chronic Low Back Pain Impact Questionnaire. A. L. S. is the designated guarantor of the content contained in this manuscript.

Author contributions All authors contributed equally to this work. All authors discussed the results and their implications and commented on the manuscript at all stages.

Conflicts of interest Authors J. S., C. E., F. P., and A. L. S. are or were employees of Adelphi Values (formerly Mapi Values), which received compensation from Endo Pharmaceuticals for the conduct of the research activities reported here as well as the composition of the present manuscript. Author K. H. S. is an employee of Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Supplementary material

40271_2013_26_MOESM1_ESM.doc (140 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 140 kb)
40271_2013_26_MOESM2_ESM.doc (252 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 251 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Stokes
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Christopher J. Evans
    • 2
  • Farrah Pompilus
    • 1
  • Alan L. Shields
    • 1
  • Kent H. Summers
    • 3
  1. 1.Adelphi ValuesBostonUSA
  2. 2.Mapi ValuesBostonUSA
  3. 3.Endo Health SolutionsMalvernUSA

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