The Italian Version of the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ-I): Cross-Cultural Adaptation, Factor Analysis, Reliability, Validity, and Sensitivity to Change

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Study Design.

Evaluation of the psychometric properties of a translated and culturally adapted questionnaire.


Translating, culturally adapting, and validating the Italian version of the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ-I) to allow its use with Italian-speaking patients with low-back pain (LBP).

Summary of Background Data.

Growing attention is being given to standardized outcome measures to improve interventions for LBP. A translated form of the FABQ has never been validated in Italian patients with LBP.


The FABQ-I questionnaire was developed by means of forward-backward translation, a final review by an expert committee, and a test of the prefinal version to establish its correspondence with the original English version. The psychometric testing included factor analysis, reliability by internal consistency (Cronbach α) and test-retest reliability (intraclass coefficient correlation), convergent validity by comparing FABQ-I with the Italian version of the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-I), and discriminant validity by comparing FABQ-I with a visual analogue scale, the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Pearson correlation).


It took 4 months to develop a shared version of the FABQ-I. The questionnaire was administered to 180 subjects and proved to be acceptable. Factor analysis revealed a 2-factor, 12-item solution (57% of explained variance). The questionnaire showed good internal consistency (α = 0.822) and high test-retest reliability (intraclass coefficient correlation = 0.869). Convergent validity showed a moderate correlation with TSK-I (r = 0.440), and discriminant validity showed moderate-poor correlations with a visual analogue scale (r = 0.335), Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (r = 0.414), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (r = 0.258 for the Anxiety score and r = 0.246 for the Depression score). The results of the psychometric analyses of the subscales were similar to those of the scale as a whole.


The FABQ outcome measure was successfully translated into Italian and proved to have a good factorial structure and psychometric properties that replicated the results of other existing versions. Its use is recommended for research purposes.

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