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Revista de Saúde Pública

versão impressa ISSN 0034-8910

Rev. Saúde Pública vol.47 no.4 São Paulo ago. 2013

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.2013047004374 

Original Articles

Adaptation and validation of WHODAS 2.0 in patients with musculoskeletal pain

Carla SilvaII 

Inês ColetaII 

Anabela G SilvaI 

António AmaroI 

Joaquim AlvarelhãoI 

Alexandra QueirósI 

Nelson RochaII 

IEscola Superior de Saúde. Universidade de Aveiro. Aveiro, Portugal

IISecção Autónoma de Ciências da Saúde. Universidade de Aveiro. Aveiro, Portugal


ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE

To validate the Portuguese version of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0).

METHODS

The original, 36 item version of the WHODAS 2.0, administered through an interview, was translated into Portuguese following international guidelines and tested on 9 participants from the general population. The Portuguese version was then administered to 204 patients with musculoskeletal pain. The patients’ socio-demographic and health data were collected, as were the number of sites where they were experiencing pain and the intensity of that pain. The WHODAS 2.0 was administered again by a second interviewer within three days to determine its inter-rater reliability. Construct validity was assessed according to the ability of WHODAS 2.0 to discriminate between patients with different numbers of pain sites and the correlation between WHODAS 2.0 scores and pain intensity. Internal consistency was also assessed.

RESULTS

The Portuguese version of the WHODAS 2.0 is easily understood and has good internal consistency (α = 0.84), as well as, very good inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.95). In addition, it was able to detect statistically significant differences between patients with different numbers of pain sites (p < 0.01) and showed that higher levels of disability are associated with more intense pain (r = 0.44, p < 0.01), indicating that it has construct validity.

CONCLUSIONS

The Portuguese version of the WHODAS 2.0 has shown to be reliable and valid when administered to patients with musculoskeletal pain.

Key words: Pain Measurement; Musculoskeletal Pain, classification; Questionnaires, utilization; Translations; Reproducibility of Results

RESUMO

OBJETIVO

Validar a versão em português do World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0).

MÉTODOS

A versão original de 36 itens do WHODAS 2.0, administrada por entrevista, foi traduzida para o português de acordo com orientações internacionais e testada em nove participantes da população em geral. A versão em português foi administrada em 204 pacientes com patologia musculoesquelética. Foram coletados os dados sociodemográficos e de saúde dos pacientes, assim como o número de locais onde apresentavam dor e sua intensidade. O WHODAS 2.0 foi novamente administrado por um segundo entrevistador, um a três dias após a primeira entrevista, para avaliar a confiabilidade interavaliadores. A validade de constructo foi avaliada quanto a: capacidade do WHODAS 2.0 para diferenciar participantes com diferentes locais com dor e associação entre o WHODAS 2.0 e a intensidade da dor. A consistência interna também foi avaliada.

RESULTADOS

A versão portuguesa do WHODAS 2.0 teve fácil compreensão, apresentou boa consistência interna (α = 0,84) e confiabilidade interavaliadores (CCI = 0,95). Mostrou ser capaz de detectar diferenças estatisticamente significativas entre indivíduos com diferente número de locais com dor (p < 0,01) e indicar que maior incapacidade está associada à maior intensidade da dor (r = 0,44, p < 0,01), indicando validade de constructo.

CONCLUSÕES

A versão portuguesa do WHODAS 2.0 mostrou-se confiável e válida quando utilizada em pacientes com dor associada à patologia musculoesquelética.

Palavras-Chave: Medição da Dor; Dor Musculoesquelética, classificação; Questionários, utilização; Traduções; Reprodutibilidade dos Testes; Estudos de Validação

RESUMEN

OBJETIVO

Validar la versión en portugués del World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0).

MÉTODOS

La versión original con 36 ítems del WHODAS 2.0, administrada por entrevista, fue traducida al portugués de acuerdo con orientaciones internacionales, y evaluada en nueve participantes de la población en general. La versión en portugués fue aplicada en 204 pacientes con patología musculoesquelética. Se colectaron los datos sociodemográficos y de salud de los pacientes, así como el número de lugares donde presentaban dolor y su intensidad. El WHODAS 2.0 fue nuevamente aplicado por un segundo entrevistador, uno a tres días posteriores a la primera entrevista para evaluar la confiabilidad inter-evaluadores. La validez del constructo fue evaluado con relación a: capacidad del WHODAS 2.0 para diferenciar participantes con diferentes lugares con dolor y asociación entre el WHODAS 2.0 y la intensidad del dolor. La consistencia interna también fue evaluada.

RESULTADOS

La versión en portugués del WHODAS 2.0 fue de fácil comprensión, presentó buena consistencia interna (α= 0,84) y confiabilidad inter evaluadores (CCI=0,95). Mostró ser capaz de detectar diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre individuos con diferente número de lugares con dolor (p˂0,01) e indicar que mayor incapacidad está asociada con la mayor intensidad del dolor (r=0,44, p˂0,01), indicando validez del constructo.

CONCLUSIONES

la versión en portugués del WHODAS 2.0 se mostró confiable y valida al ser utilizada en pacientes con dolor asociado a la patología musculo esquelética.

Palabras-clave: Medición del Dolor; Dolor Musculoesquelético, clasificación; Cuestionarios, utilización; Traducciones; Reproducibilidad de Resultados; Estudios de Validación

INTRODUCTION

Assessing disability provides a detailed picture of the implications a health condition has on the day to day life of an individual. This is especially relevant as different profiles of disability can be associated with similar pathologies and diagnoses. 1 Thus, an assessment which verifies in what ways health conditions affect the individual’s daily activities is necessary.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) a defines disability as difficulties in functioning in one or more areas of life from the perspective of the body, the individual and society, as experienced by an individual with a specific health condition in interaction with contextual factors. There are a variety of instruments for assessing disability, some specific to a certain health condition, some not, such as the Functional Independence Measure or the Barthel Index, among others. The World Health organization (WHO) developed the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0), which assesses perceived disability associated with the health condition in the 30 days preceding its application. This instrument is divided into six domains: i) cognition; ii) mobility; iii) self-care; iv) interpersonal relationships; v) activities of daily living; and vi) participation. This instrument enables the individual’s perception of their own disability to be evaluated. 14 The WHODAS 2.0 is a generic instrument, not aimed at specific populations or specific health conditions. It has been translated and evaluated for use in various languages and cultures, both the original and the adapted versions proving to be psychometrically robust. 8 , 13 , 15 Three versions of the WHODAS 2.0 have been developed, differing in length and method of administration: there is a version with 36 items, one with 12 items and one with 12+24 items. The first two can be self-administered, administered in an interview and to a substitute respondent. The 12+24 item version has a version that can be administered in an interview or by computer. 1

The aim of this study was to validate the Portuguese version of the WHODAS 2.0.

METHODS

The process of translating the original WHODAS 2.0 was carried out according to internationally established guidelines 3 involving the following steps:

• Step 1 (translation): the original English version of the WHODAS 2.0 was translated into European Portuguese by two independent translators, working in the area of health, whose mother tongue is Portuguese.

• Step 2 (synthesized version): Three researchers compared the abovementioned translations and produced a synthesized version using the translations and the original WHODAS 2.0.

• Step 3 (back-translation): The synthesized version was translated from Portuguese into English by another translator, whose mother tongue is English, with no training in the area of health and unfamiliar with the original WHODAS 2.0.

• Step 4 (pre-final version): A committee of three researchers developed the pre-final version of the WHODAS 2.0 based on the back-translation and the original instrument.

• Step 5 (pilot test): The pre-final version of the instrument underwent a pilot test with nine individuals from the general population in order to assess facility/difficulty of understanding it, following the methodology proposed by Foddy. b The data collected were used to improve the instrument and produce the final version. The Portuguese version was deemed easy to understand.

• Step 6: The back-translation and a description of the methodology used in the translation process were sent to the authors of the original WHODAS 2.0 for their approval.

The Portuguese version was validated by assessing its reliability, (internal consistency and inter-evaluator reliability) and construct validity.

The participants, patients being treated for problems connected to musculoskeletal pathologies at two rehabilitation clinics in the Aveiro region between January and April 2011, were invited to take part in the study evaluating the WHODAS 2.0. Inclusion criteria were: being aged ≥ 50 and experiencing pain linked to musculoskeletal pathologies. Those who had neurological disorders of the central nervous system (such as stroke and traumatic brain injury) and/or amputations in addition to the musculoskeletal pathology were excluded. There were 204 patients who agreed to participate, with a mean age of 65.9 (SD = 9.1); ages varied between 50 and 90 years old. Of the 204 participants, 44.6% were aged between 50 and 64 and 55.4% were aged over 60. Females constituted 71.6% of the sample (146 participants) ( Table 1 ). The most commonly reported pathologies were osteoarthritis (67.2%), hypertension (52.9%) and spondylarthrosis (46.6%). A large proportion of the individuals were overweight (47.5%) or obese (33.3%). Many of the participants reported general pain (29.9%) ( Table 1 ). The WHODAS 2.0 areas in which the participant reported the most disability were in activities of daily living, mobility and participation ( Table 2 ).

Table 1 . Characterization of the sample used to validate the WHODAS 2.0, 2011. 

Characteristics n %
Age group    
50 to 64 years old 91 44.6
≥ 65 113 55.4
Sex    
Female 146 71.6
Male 58 28.4
Marital status    
Single 7 3.4
Married 146 71.6
Separated 2 1.0
Divorced 13 6.4
Widowed 36 17.6
Schooling    
Cannot read and write 3 1.5
Can read and write 52 25.5
4 years 103 50.5
6 years 17 8.3
9 years 18 8.8
12 years 5 2.5
University degree 6 2.9
Occupation    
Paid work 29 14.2
Self-employed 11 5.4
Housewife 21 10.3
Retired 130 63.7
Unemployed (health reasons) 1 0.5
Unemployed (other reasons) 11 5.4
Other 1 0.5
Pathologies a    
High blood pressure 108 52.9
Diabetes 41 20.1
Arthritis 137 67.2
Spondylarthrosis 95 46.6
Cardiovascular disease 34 16.7
Respiratory disease 17 8.3
Cancer 2 1.0
Depression 3 1.5
Other 94 46.1
BMI b    
Underweight 1 0.5
Healthy weight 38 18.6
Overweight 97 47.5
Obese 68 33.3
Number of sites where pain is felt    
1 sites 37 18.1
2 to 3 sites 54 26.5
4 or more sites 52 25.5
Widespreadpain 61 29.9

Table 2 . Mean score and standard deviation for the sample for each of the WHODAS 2.0 domains and the total mean score, 2011. 

Domain (D) n Score (mean) Standard deviation
D1 – Cognition 204 11.7 17.4
D2 – Mobility 204 41.6 28.6
D3 – Self-care 204 17.5 17.9
D4 – Interpersonal relationships 204 6.6 14.2
D5.1 – Day to day activities (home) 179 a 52.0 31.5
D5.2 – Day to day activities (work) 75 a 42.0 30.3
D6 – Participation 204 37.4 16.2
Total b 204 28.1 19.9

Participants were interviewed twice at the rehabilitation clinics where they had been admitted. In the first interview, demographic and health data were collected and information on the number of sites where pain was felt and the intensity of that pain, and the 36 item WHODAS 2.0 was administered. In the second interview, the WHODAS 2.0 was administered.

Demographic data were collected (age, sex, marital status, years of schooling, occupation, height and weight). The values for height and weight were self-reported, wich is a valid method of characterizing the prevalence of being overweight and obesity. 4 The participants were asked whether they had been diagnosed with any of the following pathologies: high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, depression or other health problem.

The participants were asked to indicate on a body chart showing the whole body, where they had felt any pain in the preceding week. The number of sites with pain were counted and categorized according to Picavet et al 11 into: pain in one site; pain in two or three sites; pain in four or more sites; widespread pain (pain above and below the waist, pain on the left or right side of the body, and axial pain).

The intensity of the pain was assessed using a 10 cm visual numerical scale, showing a vertical classification from zero (no pain) to ten (the worst pain imaginable). Those participants who experienced pain in more than one site were asked to evaluate the mean intensity of the pain for the various sites over the preceding week (overall intensity). Pain assessment was carried out following international guidelines for assessing pain in the elderly. c

The 36 item version of the WHODAS 2.0, translated and adapted into European Portuguese using the methodology described above, was administered in two interviews by two different interviewers, with minimum and maximum intervals of one and three days, respectively. The repetition of the WHODAS 2.0 aimed to assess the inter-evaluator reliability. Limiting the interval between the two applications aimed to minimize the possibility of changes in the profile of the patient’s disability, which would have compromised the assessment of reliability.

The data analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The sample was characterized using descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation and frequencies). The WHODAS 2.0 scores were calculated per domain by adding the scores in each item in the domain and the total score was turned into a value between 0 and 100, as described in the WHODAS 2.0 manual. The higher the score, the greater the disability. Total scores were calculated taking into account the 36 items or taking into account all items except those referring to domain 5.2 “daily living activities” – work/school (total 32 items), when participants neither worked nor studied. 15

Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha (α), which varied between 0 and 1, with: (α < 0.6) “unacceptable”; (0.6 ≤ α < 0.7) “weak”; (0.7 ≤ α < 0.8) “reasonable”; (0.8 ≤ α < 0.9) “good”; and (α ≥ 0.9) “very good”. 10 Inter-evaluator reliability was assessed using the intra-class coefficient of correlation (ICC), which ranged between 0 and 1, considering “weak” (ICC < 0.4); “satisfactory” (0.4 ≤ ICC < 0.75); and “very good” (ICC ≥ 0.75). 12 Differences in the WHODAS 2.0 score between groups with different number of pain sites were assessed using ANOVA and the Bonferroni test. Correlation between WHODAS 2.0 and the intensity of pain was assessed using Pearson’s coefficient of correlation. The level of significance was p < 0.05.

This study was approved by the Bioethics and Medical Ethics Service of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidade do Porto , Portugal, 2011. Participants signed a consent form.

RESULTS

The overall Cronbach’s alpha value for the 36 item version of the WHODAS 2.0 was 0.84, indicating good internal consistency. Due to non-applicable responses in domain 5 “activities of daily living” by the rest of the participants, 65 participants were considered in this analysis. The Cronbach’s alpha value decreased with the removal of most of the items, indicating their importance in evaluating disability. Table 3 shows the results of the Cronbach’s alpha test for all WHODAS 2.0 domains and the value obtained when each of these domains was removed.

Table 3 Cronbach’s alpha results by WHODAS 2.0 domain and for the total score, 2011. 

Domain (D) n Cronbach’s Alpha
D1 – Understanding 65 0.83
D2 – Mobility 65 0.79
D3 – Self-care 65 0.84
D4 – Relationships 65 0.85
D5.1 – Housework 65 0.79
D5.2 – Work or school 65 0.76
D6 – Participation 65 0.80
Total 65 0.84

The ICC was > 0.80 for all areas of the WHODAS 2.0, indicating good inter-evaluator reliability. The ICC was 0.95, taking into account the total WHODAS 2.0 score, which also indicates good inter-evaluator reliability ( Table 4 ).

Table 4 Results for inter-evaluator reliability and correlation between WHODAS 2.0 and the intensity of pain experienced per domain and for the total score, 2011. 

Domain n Inter-evaluator reliability WHODAS – Intensity of pain
ICC 95%CI
1. Understanding 204 0.88 0.84;0.91 0,29 b
2. Mobility 204 0.93 0.91;0.95 0,46 b
3. Self-care 204 0.90 0.87;0.92 0,37 b
4. Relationships 204 0.80 0.73;0.85 0,19 b
5.1. Housework 179 a 0.89 0.85;0.92 0,45 b
5.2. Work or school 75 a 0.94 0.91;0.96 0,59 b
6. Participation 204 0.90 0.87;0.93 0,47 b
Total 204 0.95 0.94;0.96 0,44 b

Construct validity was assessed by comparing the participants’ level of disability with the different number of pain points and by assessing the link between disability and intensity of the pain, as the literature indicates that disability increases with the number of points at which pain is felt and with the intensity of that pain. 5 , 9 , 14 Statistically significant differences were found in the total WHODAS 2.0 scores between participants with widespread pain (mean = 35.7; SD = 13.3) and those with pain in only one spot (mean = 24.1; SD = 28.4, p = 0.009) and in two or three sites (mean = 29.0; SD = 14.1; p = 0.003), indicating greater incapacity in participants with widespread pain.

The intensity of pain in the preceding week was 5.9 (SD = 2.0), verifying a statistically significant correlation between pain intensity and the WHODAS 2.0 (total and domain scores) indicating greater disability in participants with more intense pain ( Table 4 ).

DISCUSSION

The 36 item Portuguese version of the WHODAS 2.0, administered in interview form, was deemed to be equivalent to the original version and easy to understand. The results of the psychometric properties evaluation showed the instrument has good internal consistency (α = 0.84). However, in studies by Baron et al, 2 Garin et al 7 and Ustun et al, 15 the alpha value was above 0.95. This difference may be explained by the small number of participants considered in this analysis (n = 65), due to non-applicable responses in domain 5 “activities of daily living: home and work or school” by the rest of the participants. A large number of participants reported not working or going to school and a large number of male participants reported not doing housework. The ICC for inter-evaluator reliability was 0.95, indicating good inter-evaluator reliability. This figure was higher than that obtained by Schlote et al, 13 who reported ICC of 0.67. However, the results of Schlote et al 13 may be explained by the long interval (six months) between the two WHODAS 2.0. The WHODAS 2.0 has been shown capable of finding logical relationships supported in the literature. In this study, individuals with widespread pain had lower functionality than those with pain in one spot or in two or three spots. More intense pain also seemed to be associated with lower functionality. Both findings are in concordance with the results of previous studies 5 , 6 , 9 , 14 and suggest that the instrument has construct validity. The results indicate that the 36 item Portuguese version of the WHODAS 2, administered in interview form, is valid and reliable. These results are in agreement with those presented by a variety of studies carried out using the original version on patients with inflammatory arthritis, knee osteoarthritis, chronic disease, osteoarthritis and strokes. 2 , 7 , 8 , 13

One of the limitations of this study is that an disability measure validated in Portuguese, which would have allowed these results to be compared with those obtained by applying the WHODAS 2.0, was not used. One of the instruments used in the process of validating the WHODAS 2.0 in other countries is the health status questionnaire (SF 36). Although the SF36 and the WHODAS 2.0 assess different aspects of related concepts, as the former assesses quality of life related to health and the latter limitations to day to day activities and restrictions to participation, studies show that a moderate association exists between the scores from the two instruments. Therefore, using this instrument would have enabled criterion validity to be assessed, making the validation of this instrument more robust. Not using patients with diverse pathologies limits the possibilities of generalizing the results. Thus, in the future, it is necessary to assess this instrument for use in patients with other types of health conditions.

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Received: May 21, 2012; Accepted: February 21, 2013

Correspondence : Anabela G. Silva Escola Superior de Saúde, Universidade de Aveiro - Edifício 30 Agras do Crasto Campus Universitário de Santiago 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugall E-mail: asilva@ua.pt

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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