COSMIN database

Assessment of patients with neck pain: a review of definitions, selection criteria, and measurement tools

Misailidou, V., Malliou, P., Beneka, A., Karagiannidis, A., and Godolias, G.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this literature review was to synthesize the existing literature on various definitions, classifications, selection criteria, and outcome measures used in different studies in patients with neck pain.

METHODS: A literature search of MEDLINE and CINAHL through September 2008 was performed to gather articles on the reliability, validity, and utility of a wide variety of outcome measurements for neck pain.

RESULTS: Different types of definitions appear in the literature based on anatomical location, etiology, severity, and duration of symptoms. Classifications according to severity and duration of pain and the establishment of selection criteria seem to play a crucial role in study designs and in clinical settings to ensure homogeneous groups and effective interventions. A series of objective tests and subjective self-report measures are useful in assessing physical abilities, pain, functional ability, psychosocial well-being, general health status, and quality of life in patients with neck pain. Self-administered questionnaires are commonly used in clinical practice and research projects.

CONCLUSIONS: Because of multidimensionality of chronic neck pain, more than just one index may be needed to gain a complete health profile of the patient with neck pain. The instruments chosen should be reliable, valid, and able to evaluate the effects of treatment.
J Chiropr Med
1556-3715 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Cognitive/mental state
Emotional state
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Social functioning
Overall quality of life:
Overall quality of life
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
BQ - Bournemouth Questionnaire
CNFDS - Copenhagen Neck Functional Disability Scale
CPH42 - Current Perceived Health 42 Profile
CSOQ - Cervical Spine Outcome Questionnaire
EASPS - Extended Aberdeen Spine Pain Scale
FABQ - Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire   
Global Assessment of Neck Pain
MPQ - McGill Pain Questionnaire    
NDI - Neck Disability Index    
NHANES-ADL - National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys ADL Scale
NPDS - Neck Pain and Disability Scale   
NPQ - Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire [alias: Northwick Questionnaire]
NRS - Numeric Rating Scale   
PET - Problem Elicitation Technique
PSFS - Patient-Specific Functional Scale   
SDS - Simple Descriptive Scale
SF-36 - 36-item Short Form Health Survey [alias: RAND-36][alias: Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) SF-36]]    |  | also see:
SF-MPQ - McGill Short Form Pain Questionnaire
Short Core Neck Pain Questionnaire
VAS - Visual Analogue Scale   
WDQ - Whiplash Disability Questionnaire