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Oswestry Disability Index (ODI)

Oswestry Disability Index

The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) is an index is derived from the Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire used by clinicians and researchers to quantify disability for low back pain.

The ODI is a 10-item score from 0 to 100 that encompasses limitations in activity, sleeping, social life, work, and personal care resulting from low back pain. Higher scores indicate more severe disability.

This validated questionnaire was first published by Jeremy Fairbank et al. in Physiotherapy in 1980.

The current version was published in the journal Spine in 2000.

The Oswestry Disability Index is currently considered by many as the gold standard for measuring degree of disability and estimating quality of life in a person with low back pain.

The patient questionnaire contains topics concerning intensity of pain, lifting, ability to care for oneself, ability to walk, ability to sit, sexual function, ability to stand, social life, sleep quality, and ability to travel.

Each topic category is followed by 6 statements describing different potential scenarios in the patient's life relating to the topic. The patient then checks the statement which most closely resembles their situation. Each question is scored on a scale of 0-5 with the first statement being zero and indicating the least amount of disability and the last statement is scored 5 indicating most severe disability. The index is scored from 0 to 100. Zero is equated with no disability and 100 being maximum disability.


0% to 20%: Minimal disability

21%-40%: Moderate Disability

41%-60%: Severe Disability

61%-80%: Crippling back pain

81%-100%: These patients are either bed-bound or have an exaggeration of their symptoms.

The Dutch ODI version 2.1a is a valid and valuable tool for the measurement of functional status and disability among Dutch patients with chronic low back pain. This translated condition-specific patient-reported outcome measure version is recommended for use in future back pain research and to evaluate outcome of back care in the Netherlands 1).

van Hooff ML, Spruit M, Fairbank JC, van Limbeek J, Jacobs WC. The oswestry disability index (version 2.1a): validation of a dutch language version. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Jan 15;40(2):E83-90. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000683. PubMed PMID: 25575092.
oswestry_disability_index.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/02 16:09 (external edit)