Background – Back disability measures are considered important by stake-holders as they offer a means of evaluating the effect of low back pain. The Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale (QDS) is a commonly-used measure of back disability, but it has only been adapted into four languages.
Method – Using a combination of cross-cultural adaptation guidelines for self-reported measures, health professionals, methodologists and Arabic linguists voluntarily participated in cross cultural adaptation of the QDS. At least three different participants were included in each of four stages.
Results – A pre-final version of the Arabic QDS was developed. The equivalence of the adapted measure to the original QDS version was agreed by examining it from four perspectives: idiomatic, experiential, conceptual and semantic.
Implications – The pre-final version is ready to be tested in almost any Arabic speaking population. This will give the opportunity to gather data in the third most widely spoken language worldwide, representing a target population of more than 500 million people.
Conclusion – The QDS can be cross-culturally adapted into Arabic without losing any concepts of the original scale; this adapted scale is ready for further testing.