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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2015

European Spine Journal 6/2015

Using the modified Delphi method to establish a new Chinese clinical consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy

Zeitschrift:
European Spine Journal > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Lei Zang, Ning Fan, Yong Hai, S. B. Lu, Q. J. Su, J. C. Yang, Peng Du, Y. J. Gao

Abstract

Purpose

Although cervical radiculopathy is very common, there is no standard treatment for this condition, with little high-level evidence available to guide the treatment choice. Thus, this study aimed to review the current data on the management of cervical radiculopathy; and, further, to establish a new Chinese clinical consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy using the Delphi method.

Methods

First, a systematic review of the previously established treatment guidelines and of articles related to cervical radiculopathy was conducted to establish a protocol for the clinical consensus of the treatment for cervical radiculopathy. Second, from February 2012 to June 2014, we performed a modified Delphi survey in which the current professional opinions from 30 experienced experts, representing almost all of the Chinese provinces, were gathered. Three rounds were performed, and consensus was defined as ≥70 % agreement.

Results

Consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy was reached on seven aspects, including the proportion of patients requiring only non-surgical therapies; the effectiveness of neck immobilization, physiotherapy, pharmacologic treatment; surgical indications; contraindications; surgery.

Conclusions

The modified Delphi study conducted herein reached a consensus concerning several treatment issues for cervical radiculopathy. In the absence of high-level evidence, at present, these expert opinion findings will help guide health care providers to define the appropriate treatment in their regions. Items with no consensus provide excellent areas for future research.

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