What is the Oswestry Disability Index?
The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) is created from the Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire and has 10 sections. The sections are:
- Pain intensity
- Personal care
- Social life
Each section has six questions that clearly define an issue. For example, in the sleeping section, the questionnaire lists this statement: Even when I take medication, I get less than 6 hours of sleep. Each question the patient answers is worth a certain amount of points. The patients are only allowed to check one box for each item, so even if multiple answers apply, the patient can only select one statement. At the end of the questionnaire, the answers are tallied up to provide a score. The lowest a person can score is 0, which means no disability, and the highest score is 50, which means the person has a severe disability and crippling back pain.
Who can administer the questionnaire?
The ODI can be administered by any healthcare provider but is most used by physicians that treat spine and back ailments such as spine surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists. The test can be administered in a paper format or electronically. The analysis is usually performed with a series of other assessments to help providers diagnose and treat back pain.
Should I take the ODI?
The ODI may be something worthwhile even if a physician doesn’t suggest the test. Many patients feel like the screening helps address and identify back pain issues. When suffering from back pain, consider scheduling an appointment with a spine specialist to learn more about treatment options.