Translation of Oswestry Disability Index into Tamil with Cross Cultural Adaptation and Evaluation of Reliability and Validity§ Academic Article uri icon

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  • Study Design: Prospective longitudinal validation study Objective: To translate and cross-culturally adapt the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) to the Tamil language (ODI-T), and to evaluate its reliability and construct validity. Summary of Background Data: ODI is widely used as a disease specific questionnaire in back pain patients to evaluate pain and disability. A thorough literature search revealed that the Tamil version of the ODI has not been previously published. Methods: The ODI was translated and cross-culturally adapted to the Tamil language according to established guidelines. 30 subjects (16 women and 14 men) with a mean age of 42.7 years (S.D. 13.6; Range 22 - 69) with low back pain were recruited to assess the psychometric properties of the ODI-T Questionnaire. Patients completed the ODI-T, Roland-Morris disability questionnaire (RMDQ), VAS-pain and VAS-disability at baseline and 24-72 hours from the baseline visit. Results: The ODI-T displayed a high degree of internal consistency, with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.92. The test-retest reliability was high (n=30) with an ICC of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.96) and a mean re-test difference of 2.6 points lower on re-test. The ODI-T scores exhibited a strong correlation with the RMDQ scores (r = 0.82) p<0.01, VAS-P (r = 0.78) p<0.01 and VAS-D (r = 0.81) p<0.01. Moderate to low correlations were observed between the ODI-T and lumbar ROM (r = -0.27 to -0.53). All the hypotheses that were constructed apriori were supported. Conclusion: The Tamil version of the ODI Questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool that can be used to measure subjective outcomes of pain and disability in Tamil speaking patients with low back pain.


  • Vincent, Joshua Israel
  • MacDermid, Joy
  • Grewal, Ruby
  • Sekar, Vincent Prabhakaran
  • Balachandran, Dinesh

publication date

  • January 24, 2014