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Subject of the scale: Low back pain

Dallas Pain Questionnaire


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Composite scale of the self-questionnaire type specific to lumbago, much used since the 90s because of its speed (5 minutes). The objective is to measure the pain and functional repercussions of lumbago on the simple actions of daily life by bringing in a cognitive-behavioural dimension for chronic pain (physical, psychological and social).

The patient must reply to 4 groups of separate questions concerning 1) daily activities (7 questions); 2) professional activities and leisure activity (3 questions); 3) anxiety/depression (3 questions); and 4) sociability (3 questions). A total of 16 questions, using an analogue visual scale for each question.

The patient must evaluate the level of pain associated with the question and mark the straight line of the EVA on the sheet by an X.

> Access to the scale is free

Psychometric properties:


Psychometric properties



Face validity


Content validity


Criterion validity

Concurrent validity


Predictive validity


Construct validity

Convergent validity


Divergent validity


Discriminant validity
(sensitivity and distinctiveness)



Intra-rater reliability


Inter-rater reliability




Internal consistency (alpha)




General comment on reliability:

The construct validity has shown significant correlation with the other physical and psychological criteria as well as a significant discriminatory validity between acute lumbago and non-acute. The predictive validity of the scores enables targeting new cases of lumbago: if the dimensions "daily activity" and "work-leisure" are >50%, and the "anxiety-depression" dimensions and “social behaviour” are <50%, a medical treatment will be suggested. If the dimensions are the inverse, it seems appropriate to favour a behavioural treatment. If all the dimensions are >50%, a mixed treatment will be proposed.

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More information:

For more details of the scale, the comments or the psychometric properties presented here, please contact Dr. François GENET :


Inaugural references:

[1] Lawlis GF, Cuencas R, Selby D, McCoy CE. The development of Dallas pain questionnaire. Spine 1989; 14: 515-16.

Psychometric references:

[2] Haas M, Jacob GE, Raphael R, Petzing K. Low back pain outcome measurement assessment in chiropractic teaching clinics: responsiveness and applicability of two functional disbility questionnaire. J Manip Physiol Ther 1995;18:79-87.

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