FRI paper

Some folks were interested in the paper on the Functional Rating Indexed that was
recently published in the European Spine Journal. It is attached here.
Let me know if you have any questions.


Download 15fri_eur_spine_j_2005.pdf

5 responses to “FRI paper

  1. Bill Egan says:

    Thanks for posting that paper John. Good information.

  2. Chris Adams says:

    Thanks for the post John. I’m not sure why the author stated in the article that “clinicians, researchers, and patients will find this instrument less burdensome than its predecessors”. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve never had any complaints using the OLBDQ or the NDI to date. Have any of you tried out the FRI yet?

  3. John Childs says:


    I was the author on the paper so can address the rationale. You are correct that the OSW is generally not burdensome to complete, but the FRI is still easier. It still has 10 questions, but the response scale is a Likert-type scale that offers the same response for each question. The descriptions for each response are also only 1-2 words, thus it takes less time to read and become familiar with the response choices. Still, you are correct that the OSW is not that difficult to complete. It’s all relative. A copy of the FRI is attached. The OSW is still the gold standard for the low back. Further studies are needed to validate the psychometric properties of the FRI, particularly in patients with neck pain, before it can be recommended for widespread use.


    Download FRI.pdf

  4. SelenaHorner says:

    From a clinical perspective, if the FRI was validated for patients with cervical pain and also for patients with thoracic pain, then could the FRI technically be the tool to use with all spinal patients? Or would doing that create justifying why the FRI was used vs Oswestry?
    Or, will the Oswestry stay and the NDI will go?
    The only reason I ask is because the supportive staff people I have worked with get quite confused, even after explaining what tool goes with which population. I like the “keep it simple” philosophy which tends to reduce errors and maintains efficiency.

  5. Chris Adams says:

    I see your point. The FRI is definitely an easier tool for patients to use and appears to be less time consuming.

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