The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
IP and JA participated in the design of the study, data acquisition, statistical analyses and interpretation, and draft of the manuscript. JO participated in the design of the study, revision of the manuscript and participants’ recruitment coordination. LL participated in statistical analyses and revision of the manuscript. MD conceived the study, and participated in its design and coordination, statistical analyses and interpretation, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Stratification strategies based on identifying patient’s prognosis in order to guide patient care constitute one of the most prominent and recent approach in low back pain research. The STarT Back Screening Tool (SBST) although promising, has not been studied in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Considering how challenging it is to translate research into practice, the value of integrating a new tool should be thoroughly assessed. The purpose was therefore to assess associations between the short- and long-terms clinical status and two types of variables, physiologic measures and the SBST, in participants with cLBP. The ability of both types of variables to discriminate between participants with and without higher levels of disability, pain, fear of movement and patient’s global impression of change was also investigated.
Fifty-three volunteers with cLBP participated in an initial evaluation and follow-ups at 2-, 4-, 6- and 12-month. Physiologic measures (maximal voluntary contraction, maximal endurance and muscle activity evaluated during prone and lateral isometric tasks) and the SBST were assessed at baseline. Disability (Oswestry Disability Index, ODI), pain intensity (101-point Numerical Rating Scale, NRS), fear of movement (Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, TSK) and patient’s global impression of change (7-point scale, PGIC) were evaluated at baseline and at each follow-up. Aside the use of correlation analyses to assess potential associations; ROC curves were performed to evaluate the discriminative ability of physiologic measures and the SBST.
The SBST allowed for the identification of participants presenting higher levels of disability (ODI ≥24 %), pain (NRS ≥37 %) or fear of movement (TSK ≥41/68) over a 12-month period (AUC = 0.71 to 0.84, ps < 0.05). The SBST score was also correlated with disability at each follow-up (τ = 0.22 to 0.33, ps < 0.05) and with pain intensity and fear of movement at follow-ups. Among physiologic measures, only maximal voluntary contraction was correlated to disability, pain intensity or fear of movement during the follow-up (|τ| = 0.26 to 0.32, ps < 0.05) and none was able to identify participants presenting higher levels of outcomes (AUC ps > 0.05).
Physiologic measures obtained during prone and lateral tests have limited associations with the clinical status over a 12-month period in patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain. On the other hand, the STarT Back Screening Tool is useful for the identification of patients who will present higher levels of disability, pain intensity and fear of movement over a year.
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- Chronic low back pain clinical outcomes present higher associations with the STarT Back Screening Tool than with physiologic measures: a 12-month cohort study
- BioMed Central
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