+44 20 3868 9735
Background: The occiput-wall distance (OWD) is a quick and easily administered method to assess kyphosis. Thus it is likely used in epidemiologic studies. However, there are no data to warrant validity of the tool. This study evaluated concurrent validity of the OWD using a Flexicurve as a standard method. Methods: Subjects were 158 well-functioning elderly, aged at least 60 years old and had a perpendicular distance from the bony prominence of C7 to the wall >0 cm. They were assessed kyphosis using Flexicurve and OWD in a random order. The Pearson correlation coefficient was applied to determine levels of correlation. Results and conclusion: The OWD correlated extremely well with the Flexicurve (r = 0.902, p<0.001), thereby the data confirmed concurrent validity of the OWD. Although the method did not measure spinal angle, the findings suggested benefit of OWD to quantify and monitor degrees of kyphosis in a large number of populations.