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Eur Spine J. 2011 Jun;20(6):882-9. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1545-0. Epub 2010 Aug 8.

Sensitivity to change of the Neck Pain and Disability Scale.

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Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, University of Göttingen, Humboldtallee 38, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.


The Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPAD) is a 20-item instrument to measure neck pain and related disability. The aim of this study was to assess sensitivity to change of the NPAD. A total of 411 participants from 15 general practices in the middle of Germany completed a multidimensional questionnaire including the German version of the NPAD and self-reported demographic and clinical information. Sensitivity to change was analysed by linear regression analysis of the NPAD at follow-up and educational level, age class, depression, anxiety, and deficits in social support, respectively, and by Pearson's correlation analyses between mean change in NPAD at follow-up and mean change in prognostic markers. Those having more than basic education (regression coefficient -7.2, p < 0.001) and/or being in a younger age class (-2.9, p = 0.020) consistently reported significantly lower average NPAD scores at follow-up compared to those with basic education and/or a older age class. In contrast, those who were classified to be depressed (regression coefficient 2.1, p < 0.001), anxious (1.9, p < 0.001), or having deficits in social support (5.5, p = 0.004) reported significantly higher NPAD scores. Change in depression, anxiety, and social support scale between baseline and follow-up was significantly correlated with change in the NPAD score. Hence, these data are in the direction anticipated across all baseline factors investigated. In conclusion, the NPAD seems to be a sensitive measure for use in clinical practice and future studies of neck pain and related disability.

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