I work in a moderate-size spinal disorders clinic. We are trying to find a quick and easy survey tool that can be used to measure before and after results with our patients. What are other clinics using? Can you recommend anything to help us get started?
There are many measurement tools in use around the United States. Two of the most common surveys are the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

The SF-36 has eight scales that measure physical and mental functioning. It is not specific to neck or back pain patients. But it can be used with a wide variety of patients.

The ODI measures pain intensity; level of personal care; and travel, social, and sexual activity. It is specifically for low back pain patients but has been used by some health care professionals with neck pain patients as well.

Recently, a group of physical therapists from Canada investigated the use of a shorter version of the SF-36 with neck and back pain patients. They used the 12-item Short-Form Survey (SF-12). The SF-12 is a one-page, series of 12 total questions. It is easy to complete and doesn't overburden the patient with paperwork.

It takes about two minutes (instead of 10 minutes with the SF-36) to complete. Best of all, it can be used with patients who have spinal disorders affecting both the neck and the low back.