Cross-cultural adaptation and assessment of the reliability and validity of the Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI) for the Brazilian-Portuguese language

L H F Damasceno, P A G Rocha, E S Barbosa, C A M Barros, F T Canto, H L A Defino, A F Mannion
European Spine Journal 2012, 21 (7): 1273-82

PURPOSE: The use of patient-orientated questionnaires is of utmost importance in assessing the outcome of spine surgery. Standardisation, using a common set of outcome measures, is essential to aid comparisons across studies/in registries. The Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI) is a short, multidimensional outcome instrument validated for patients with spinal disorders. This study aimed to produce a Brazilian-Portuguese version of the COMI.

METHODS: A cross-cultural adaptation of the COMI into Brazilian-Portuguese was carried out using established guidelines. 104 outpatients with chronic LBP (>3 months) were recruited from a Public Health Spine Medical Care Centre. They completed a questionnaire booklet containing the newly translated COMI, and other validated symptom-specific questionnaires: Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Roland Morris disability scale (RM), and a pain visual analogue scale. All patients completed a second questionnaire within 7-10 days to assess reproducibility.

RESULTS: The COMI summary score displayed minimal floor and ceiling effects. On re-test, the responses for each individual domain of the COMI were within 1 category in 98% patients for the domain 'function', 96% for 'symptom-specific well-being', 97% for 'general quality of life', 99% for 'social disability' and 100% for 'work disability'. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC(2,1)) for COMI pain and COMI summary scores were 0.91-0.96, which compared favourably with the corresponding values for the RM (ICC, 0.99) and ODI (ICC, 0.98). The standard error of measurement for the COMI was 0.6, giving a "minimum detectable change" (MDC95%) of approximately 1.7 points i.e., the minimum change to be considered "real change" beyond measurement error. The COMI scores correlated as hypothesised (Rho, 0.4-0.8) with the other symptom-specific questionnaires.

CONCLUSIONS: The reproducibility of the Brazilian-Portuguese version of the COMI was comparable to that of other language versions. The COMI scores correlated in the expected manner with existing but longer symptom-specific questionnaires suggesting good convergent validity for the COMI. The Brazilian-Portuguese COMI represents a valuable tool for Brazilian study-centres in future multicentre clinical studies and surgical registries.

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