Cornell University Ergonomics Web

Laptop Specific Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (LS-CMDQ)

The following laptop Specific Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (LS-CMDQ) have been adapted by Hossein Afifehzade-Kashani [] in Iran.

The questionnaires are adaptations of the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (CMDQ). If you need further assistance please contact Alan Hedge at

The following questionnaire files contain graphics and therefore have been organized as downloadable '.pdf' files, and these can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat.


Scoring Guidelines - Laptop-Specific Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires

These questionnaires are for research screening purposes and not for diagnostic purposes. Note that 'fingers' refers to one or more of the fingers of a hand.

Scores can be analyzed in 4 ways:

  1. by simply counting the number of symptoms per person
  2. by summing the rating values for each person
  3. by weighting the rating scores to more easily identify the most serious problems as follows:
    Never = 0
    1-2 times/week = 1.5
    3-4 times/week = 3.5
    Every day = 5
    Several times every day = 10
  4. by multiplying the above Frequency score (0,1.5 , 3.5, 5, 10) by the Discomfort score (1,2,3) by the Interference score (1,2,3)

In the computational analyses missing values can be coded as 0. If the missing value is for the frequency score then use this as a zero in multiplying, i.e. all combinations of Frequency, Discomfort and Interference become 0. However, if the missing value is in the Discomfort or Frequency score then treat it as missing so that the multiplied score will be at least the value of the Frequency score.

The individual items should also be analyzed to determine where there may be a postural problem for the person.

1)      What is the importance or benefit of multiplying frequency score by discomfort score by the interference score?  

This is just a way of spreading the scores so that you can more easily find the most severe cases. For example, if you have someone who has right shoulder pain every day (score of 5), and this is very uncomfortable (score of 3) and it substantially interferes with their work (score of 3), if we added their score it would only be 5+3+3 = 11, but if we multiply their score for the right shoulder it is 5x3x3 = 45.  So let’s compare this to someone who says they had right shoulder pain 3-4 times in the last week (score of 3.5) that is was moderately uncomfortable (score of 2) and that it slightly interfered with their work (score of 2), then if we added their score it would be 3.5+2+2 = 7.5, which doesn’t seem that much different from 11 for the previous person, but if we multiple their scores for the right shoulder it is 3.5x2x2 = 14, which is almost 1/3 of that for the previous. So by multiplying out the scores it really stretches the scales and lets us more easily see those people with the greatest problems.  

 2)      How can I classify the severity of discomfort into mild, moderate, or more.

The discomfort score is a severity of discomfort. Originally we had it as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe discomfort’, but we found that people more easily understood the categories ‘slightly’, ‘moderately’ and ‘very uncomfortable’ . if you like you can replace the scale point titles with ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe discomfort’.  

Validity and Reliability

The survey is derived from the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (CMDQ) that has been shown to have good validity.