Scoliosis Research Society
SRS: Scoliosis Research Society

Scoliosis Research Society

Dedicated to the optimal care of patients with spinal deformity

Shorter and Sweeter: Optimizing the SRS-22r Questionnaire for Young People with Spinal Differences


In patients with adult spinal deformity, it was previously shown that 16 of the non-management items of the SRS-instrument showed a better fit to the theoretical four-factor model (pain, function, self-image, mental health) than did all 20 items. Whether the same phenomenon is observed in data from younger (< 20y) patients, for whom the questionnaire was originally designed, is not currently known. Read the abstract of this study in Spine Deformity Journal. 

Shorter and Sweeter

Patient questionnaires are important tools to study and improve medical care. The SRS-22r is a widely used patient-reported outcome tool designed to assess spine patients. Too many or too long questionnaires can be too much for patients. So, it is important improve these tools, and the quality of information gained from them. Also, it is important for these questionnaires to be applicable to people from all backgrounds.

A recent study looked at how a shorter version of the SRS-22r might compare to the standard tool. Using an analysis model, the authors looked at questionnaires completed by 3618 young patients (average age 15) from countries with five different languages (English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French). They found that the questionnaire might be better if four specific questions are removed. This suggestion makes the questionnaire shorter, but may also improve the information gained.

Getting both high quality and short length is difficult. This study represents an important effort to improve the available tools for providers, which leads to better understanding the true effect of the medical treatment. In this case, shorter is sweeter. 

Mannion A, Elfering A, Fekete T, et al.
Spine Deformity Journal (2022) 10:1055-1062.

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