Örebro musculoskeletal pain questionnaire484
The Örebro musculoskeletal pain questionnaire (ÖMPQ) is a ‘yellow flag’ screening tool that predicts long-term disability and failure to return to work when completed 4–12 weeks following a soft tissue injury.485 A cut-off score of 105 has been found to predict (with 95% accuracy) those who will recover, those who will have no further sick leave in the next six months (with 81% accuracy), and those who will have long-term sick leave (with 67% accuracy).484
The ÖMPQ predicted failure to return to work six months after compensable musculoskeletal injury in a NSW population of workers. The injuries in the study group were mixed, and the ÖMPQ was found to be more specific and sensitive for back injuries. In workers with back injuries screened at 4–12 weeks, a cut-off score of 130 correctly predicted 86% of those who failed to return to work.486
Identification through the ÖMPQ of workers at risk of failing to return to work due to personal and environmental factors provides the opportunity for treating practitioners to apply appropriate interventions (including the use of activity programs based on cognitive behavioural strategies) to reduce the risk of long-term disability in injured workers. Evidence indicates that these factors can be changed if they are addressed.487–489
Administering the questionnaire
The ÖMPQ is designed to be a self-administered tool completed by the worker in a quiet environment without assistance from any other person. A detailed explanation is provided by the person administering the questionnaire:
Information from this questionnaire helps us understand your problem better, and it especially helps us evaluate the possible long-term consequences your pain may have. It is important that you read each question carefully and answer it as best you can. There are no right or wrong answers. Please answer every question. If you have difficulty, select the answer that best describes your situation.
Where uncertainty or a request for more information is expressed, encouragement is provided to ‘answer as best you can’. The questionnaire item may be read aloud to assist; however, the question should not be rephrased. All questions should be answered, as missing values will reduce validity.490
- For Question 5, count the number of pain sites and multiply by two – this is the score (maximum score allowable is 10).
- For Questions 6 and 7 the score is the number bracketed after the ticked box.
- For Questions 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 and 20 the score is the number that has been ticked or circled.
- For Questions 12, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 the score is 10 minus the number that has been circled.
- Write the score in the shaded area beside each item.
- Add up the scores for Questions 5 to 25 – this is the total ÖMPQ score.