Validation of Chichewa Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) questionnaire: A cross-sectional study.



The Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) tool measures function and quality of life in patients with musculoskeletal conditions.


This study aimed to translate and adapt culturally the SMFA into Chichewa, and assess its clinimetric properties.


The translated Chichewa version was administered to 53 patients with musculoskeletal disorders. To assess repeatability, an additional 20 patients answered the questionnaire twice over a time interval of two weeks. Internal consistency, floor and ceiling effects, and repeatability were tested; construct validity was assessed with the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment tool (WHOQOL-BREF).


There was good internal consistency for both Dysfunction and Bothersome indices (Cronbach's alpha 0.90) and good construct validity between both indices with the WHOQOL-BREF. Pearson's correlation coefficient and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for repeatability for the Dysfunction Index were 0.941 and 0.922 (95% CI: 0.772, 0.971) respectively, and 0.877 and 0.851 (95% CI: 0.629, 0.941) for the Bothersome Index respectively.


The translated Chichewa SMFA is a valid tool for populations that speak the Chichewa language.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Chokotho, Linda, Brian C Lau, Devin Conway, Hao-Hua Wu, David Shearer, Geir Hallan, Jan-Erik Gjertsen, Nyengo Mkandawire, et al. (2019). Validation of Chichewa Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) questionnaire: A cross-sectional study. Malawi medical journal : the journal of Medical Association of Malawi, 31(1). pp. 65–70. 10.4314/mmj.v31i1.11 Retrieved from

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Brian Chei-Fai Lau

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

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