Neck Disability Index (NDI)

Spine PRO Measures Guide

The Neck Disability Index (NDI)

The Neck Disability Index (NDI) is a modified version of the Oswestry Low Back Disability Index (ODI) used by clinicians and researchers to quantify disability related to — you guessed it — neck pain.

Developed in the late 1980s and first published in 1991, the NDI was the first instrument for measuring patient-reported disability in neck pain patients. Since 1991, a number of other questionnaires for neck pain patients have been developed, but NDI remains the oldest and most widely-used of these instruments.

This 10-question survey is filled out by patients and asks questions related to condition-specific functional statuses, such as pain, personal care, lifting, reading, headaches, concentration, work, driving, sleeping, and recreation. Each question is scored on a scale of 0-5, with zero indicating the least amount of disability. To obtain the index, the scores of all questions are summed and then doubled.


The NDI has been rigorously tested over the years and has proven to be a reliable, valid, and responsive PRO tool. It has sufficient support and usefulness to retain its current status as the most commonly used self-reported measure for neck pain.


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