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Occupational Role Questionnaire

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The Occupational Role Questionnaire (ORQ) is a 8-item measure of occupational role performance for individuals with back pain. 

Acronym ORQ

Area of Assessment

Occupational Performance

Administration Mode

Paper & Pencil



Actual Cost



Key Descriptions

  • Degree of back pain impact on occupational function measured
  • Item-level scores range from 0-3, determined by the degree to which back pain interferes with job
  • Item scores are converted to a scale of 1-100
  • Maximum score = 100

Number of Items


Equipment Required

  • pen/pencil
  • copy of assessment

Time to Administer


Required Training

No Training

Age Ranges


18 - 64


Instrument Reviewers

Eliza Tilson, College of William & Mary 2021 

ICF Domain


Measurement Domain

Participation & Activities


  • ORQ may have implications for evaluating back pain intervention programs
  • Distribution of responses observed suggests that the four-point response format cold probably be reduced to a three-point scale
  • Psychological variables are not included in ORQ

Back Pain

back to Populations

Cut-Off Scores

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137)

To study the effects of sociodemographic variable and type of job on occupational role performance, the groups in terms of mean scores were initially compared. However, because the scores were strongly skewed, the score of 75/100 or less was used as a cut-off point. Contingency tables were used to assess these effects.

Normative Data

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137; 69 male participants, 68 female participants; participant age, 24.8% under 30 years, 26.3% 30-39 years, 29.9% 40-49 years, 19.0% 50+ years; 59.9% English speakers; 51.8% university education level; lifting required at work, 47.2% no, 40.2% sometimes, 12.6% often)


Mean scores on ORQ scales according to sociodemographic variables


Variable             Productivity                  Satisfaction            Summary

                          scale                            scale                      score


  Male                     73.3                         80.3                       76.9

  Female                 72.9                         84.6                       78.8


  <30 years             79.2                         87.0                       83.5

  30-39                    69.8                         79.6                       74.8

  40-49                    71.7                         79.5                       75.6

  50+                       71.7                         85.7                       78.7


  English                 77.9                         88.8                        83.5

  French                  65.9                         73.3                        69.6


  University             75.7                         89.2                        82.6

  Other                    70.2                         75.1                        72.6

Lifting required

   No                       73.9                          87.2                       80.7

   Yes                      73.0                          79.2                       76.1

Test/Retest Reliability

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137)

  • Subsample of 56 subjects who answered the questionnaire twice over a period of up to 2 weeks, and who reported no change in back pain between the two assessments)


Scale                                             Test-retest correlation

Productivity scale (four items)       0.89

Satisfaction scale (four items)       0.80

Summary score (eight items)        0.91

Internal Consistency

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137)

Scale                                             Alpha coefficient

Productivity scale (four items)       0.82

Satisfaction scale (four items)       0.86

Summary score (eight items)        0.88

Construct Validity

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137)

  • External construct validity was studied by examining correlations of the ORQ with a seven-point scale of pain and with the Roland and Morris Disability Scale

                                             Correlation coefficient

Scale                                    Pain              Disability   

Productivity scale                 -0.31             -0.46

Satisfaction scale                 -0.36             -0.45

Summary Score                   -0.37             -0.51

Content Validity

Back pain: (Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998); n = 137)

  • Occupational role items were part of a larger questionnaire that included, inter alia, the TyPE Low Back Pain Form, Roland and Morris Disability Scale, and basic sociodemographic information
  • The questionnaire was pilot-tested on a sample of 23 back pain patients
  • The English version of the questionnaire was translated to French and then back translated to English.

16 original items were analyzed, based on these results two sub scales of occupational role performance were derived, with four items in each scale.


Kopec, J. A., & Esdaile, J. M. (1998). Occupational role performance in persons with back pain. Disability and rehabilitation20(10), 373–379.