To assess the responsiveness of the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ), the Oswestry Disability Index, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire, the visual analog scale (VAS), the 8-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-8), and the EuroQol 5 dimensions 5 level as methods of assessing outcomes of surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis.
We analyzed 218 patients who had undergone lumbar surgery for spinal stenosis and completed one year of follow-up. The internal responsiveness of each questionnaire and any domains was assessed by the effect size and standardized response mean. External responsiveness was assessed by the Spearman rank correlation coefficient and the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve.
The most responsive assessments were “symptom severity” and “physical function” on the ZCQ, “walking ability” on the JOABPEQ, “leg pain” on the VAS, and “social function” on the JOABPEQ. The moderately responsive assessments were the physical component summary on the SF-8, the ODI, the EQ5D-5L, “low back pain” on the JOABPEQ, and “leg numbness” on the VAS. The least responsive assessments were “low back pain” on the VAS, “mental health” and “lumbar function” on the JOABPEQ, and the mental component summary on the SF-8.
Because of its high responsiveness, “symptom severity” on the ZCQ is recommended as a primary tool for assessing outcome when designing prospective studies for lumbar spinal stenosis.

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.