Adaptation of the Oswestry Disability Index to Kannada Language and Evaluation of Its Validity and Reliability

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Study Design.

A translation, cross-cultural adaptation, and validation study.


The aim of this study was to translate, adapt cross-culturally, and validate the Kannada version of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

Summary of Background Data.

Low back pain is recognized as an important public health problem. Self-administered condition-specific questionnaires are important tools for assessing a patient. For low backache, the ODI is used widely. Preferred language of a region can have an effect on interpretation of questions and thus scoring. A search of literature showed no previously validated Kannada version of the ODI.


Cross-cultural adaptation and translation was carried out according to previously set guidelines. Patients were recruited from the orthopedic outpatient department. They filled out a booklet containing the Kannada version of the ODI, Kannada version of the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), and a 10-point visual analog scale for pain (VASpain).


The Kannada ODI was answered by 91 patients and retested in 35 patients. After removing questionnaires with stray or ambiguous markings causing difficulty in computation of scores, 76 test questionnaires and 32 retest questionnaires were available for statistical analysis. The Kannada version showed an excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.92). The Kannada version of the ODI showed good correlation with the RMDQ (r = 0.72) and moderate correlation with VASpain (r = 0.58). It also showed an excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.96). Standard error of measurement (SEM) was also low (4.08) and a difference of 11 points is the “Minimum Detectable Change (MDC).”


The Kannada version of the ODI that was developed showed consistency and reliability. It can be used for assessment of low back pain and treatment outcomes in Kannada-speaking populations. However, in view of a smaller sample size, it will benefit from verification at multiple centers and with more patients.


Level of Evidence: 3

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