A systematic review of the predictive ability of the orebro musculoskeletal pain questionnaire

Rowena L. Hockings, James H. McAuley, Christopher G. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Study Design. Systematic review. Objective. To establish the ability of the Orebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire (OMPQ) to predict outcome in patients with recent onset spinal pain. Summary of Background Data. Psychosocial factors are believed to play a significant role in the development of a chronic pain problem. The OMPQ is a self-administered screening questionnaire that was developed to identify those patients with acute or subacute musculoskeletal pain who are at risk of delayed recovery. Clinical guidelines recommend its use, despite its predictive ability never having been systematically reviewed. Methods. Searches of electronic databases were undertaken. Eligible studies were those that enrolled subjects with acute or subacute spinal pain, administered the OMPQ at baseline and measured outcomes in terms of pain, disability, sick leave, and/or global recovery. Ratings of study quality and data extraction were conducted by 2 independent assessors. Results. Seven publications (5 discreet data sets) of variable methodologic quality were included. Baseline OMPQ scores were shown to have moderate ability in predicting long-term pain, disability, and sick leave outcomes. For example, the area under the curve values for predicting persisting pain ranged from 0.62 to 0.75 and for persisting disability from 0.68 to 0.83. Conclusion. The OMPQ has moderate predictive ability in identifying patients with spinal pain at risk of persisting pain and disability. This evidence supports clinical guidelines recommending its use as an assessment tool for identifying psychosocial risk factors. Further research is needed to confirm the predictive ability of individual items in different populations and settings, to enhance its usefulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E494-E500
Number of pages7
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Back pain
  • Cohort studies
  • Prognosis
  • Questionnaire
  • Screening


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