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Development of a simple measurement scale to evaluate the severity of non-specific low back pain for industrial ergonomics

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This study developed an assessment scale that hierarchically classifies degrees of low back pain severity. This assessment scale consists of two subscales: 1) pain intensity; 2) pain interference. First, the assessment scale devised by the authors was used to administer a self-administered questionnaire to 773 male workers in the car manufacturing industry. Subsequently, the validity of the measurement items was examined and some of them were revised. Next, the corrected low back pain scale was used in a self-administered questionnaire, the subjects of which were 5053 ordinary workers. The hierarchical validity between the measurement items was checked based on the results of Mokken Scale analysis. Finally, a low back pain assessment scale consisting of seven items was perfected. Quantitative assessment is made possible by scoring the items and low back pain severity can be classified into four hierarchical levels: none; mild; moderate; severe. Statement of Relevance:The use of this scale devised by the authors allows a more detailed assessment of the degree of risk factor effect and also should prove useful both in selecting remedial measures for occupational low back pain and evaluating their efficacy.
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Keywords: Mokken scale analysis; categorical component analysis; occupational low back pain; questionnaire; severity evaluation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, Fukuoka Prefectural University, Tagawa, Japan 2: Department of Ergonomics, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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