Reliability and Validity of the Visual, Musculoskeletal, and Balance Complaints Questionnaire

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To evaluate the reliability and validity of the 15-item Visual, Musculoskeletal, and Balance Complaints Questionnaire (VMB) for people with visual impairments, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and with Rasch analysis for use as an outcome measure.


Two studies evaluated the VMB. In Study 1, VMB data were collected from 1249 out of 3063 individuals between 18 and 104 years old who were registered at a low vision center. CFA evaluated VMB factor structure and Rasch analysis evaluated VMB scale properties. In Study 2, a subsample of 52 individuals between 27 and 67 years old with visual impairments underwent further measurements. Visual clinical assessments, neck/scapular pain, and balance assessments were collected to evaluate the convergent validity of the VMB (i.e. the domain relationship with other, theoretically predicted measures).


CFA supported the a priori three-factor structure of the VMB. The factor loadings of the items on their respective domains were all statistically significant. Rasch analysis indicated disordered categories and the original 10-point scale was subsequently replaced with a 5-point scale. Each VMB domain fitted the Rasch model, showing good metric properties, including unidimensionality (explained variances ≥66% and eigenvalues <1.9), person separation (1.86 to 2.29), reliability (0.87 to 0.94), item fit (infit MnSq’s >0.72 and outfit MnSq’s <1.47), targeting (0.30 to 0.50 logits), and insignificant differential item functioning (all DIFs but one <0.50 logits) from gender, age, and visual status. The three VMB domains correlated significantly with relevant visual, musculoskeletal, and balance assessments, demonstrating adequate convergent validity of the VMB.


The VMB is a simple, inexpensive, and quick yet reliable and valid way to screen and evaluate concurrent visual, musculoskeletal, and balance complaints, with contribution to epidemiological and intervention research and potential clinical implications for the field of health services and low vision rehabilitation.

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