Cross cultural adaptation of the Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale from English into Arabic

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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.

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