Medline ® Abstracts for References 5,22,58

of 'Approach to the diagnosis and evaluation of low back pain in adults'

5
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What can the history and physical examination tell us about low back pain?
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Deyo RA, Rainville J, Kent DL
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JAMA. 1992;268(6):760.
 
AD
Health Services Research and Development Field Program, Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center, WA.
PMID
22
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Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society.
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Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT Jr, Shekelle P, Owens DK, Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Pain Society Low Back Pain Guidelines Panel
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Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(7):478.
 
RECOMMENDATION 1: Clinicians should conduct a focused history and physical examination to help place patients with low back pain into 1 of 3 broad categories: nonspecific low back pain, back pain potentially associated with radiculopathy or spinal stenosis, or back pain potentially associated with another specific spinal cause. The history should include assessment of psychosocial risk factors, which predict risk for chronic disabling back pain (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 2: Clinicians should not routinely obtain imaging or other diagnostic tests in patients with nonspecific low back pain (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 3: Clinicians should perform diagnostic imaging and testing for patients with low back pain when severe or progressive neurologic deficits are present or when serious underlying conditions are suspected on the basis of history and physical examination (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 4: Clinicians should evaluate patients with persistent low back pain and signs or symptoms of radiculopathy or spinal stenosis with magnetic resonance imaging (preferred) or computed tomography only if they are potential candidates for surgery or epidural steroid injection (for suspected radiculopathy) (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 5: Clinicians should provide patients with evidence-based information on low back pain with regard to their expected course, advise patients to remain active, and provide information about effective self-care options (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 6: For patients with low back pain, clinicians should consider the use of medications with proven benefits in conjunction with back care information and self-care. Clinicians should assess severity of baseline pain and functional deficits, potential benefits, risks, and relative lack of long-term efficacy and safety data before initiating therapy (strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). For most patients, first-line medication options are acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. RECOMMENDATION 7: For patients who do not improve with self-care options, clinicians should consider the addition of nonpharmacologic therapy with proven benefits-for acute low back pain, spinal manipulation; for chronic or subacute low back pain, intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation, exercise therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, yoga, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or progressive relaxation (weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence).
AD
Oregon Health&Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.
PMID
58
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Effects of diagnostic information, per se, on patient outcomes in acute radiculopathy and low back pain.
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Ash LM, Modic MT, Obuchowski NA, Ross JS, Brant-Zawadzki MN, Grooff PN
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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2008;29(6):1098.
 
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We conducted a prospective randomized study of patients with acute low back pain and/or radiculopathy to assess the effect of knowledge of diagnostic findings on clinical outcome. The practice of ordering spinal imaging, perhaps unintentionally, includes a large number of patients for whom the imaging test is performed for purposes of reassurance or because of patient expectations. If this rationale is valid, one would expect to see a measurable effect from diagnostic information, per se.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 246 patients with acute (<3 weeks) low back pain (LBP) and/or radiculopathy (150 LBP and 96 radiculopathy patients) were recruited. Patients were randomized using a stratified block design with equal allocation to either the unblinded group (MR imaging results provided within 48 hours) or the blinded group (both patient and physician blinded to MR imaging results.) After the initial MR imaging, patients followed 6 weeks of conservative management. Roland function, visual pain analog, absenteeism, Short Form (SF)-36 Health Status Survey, self-efficacy scores, and Fear Avoidance Questionnaire were completed at presentation; 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks; and 6, 12, and 24 months. Improvement of Roland scoreby 50% or more and patient satisfaction assessed by Cherkin symptom satisfaction measure were considered a positive outcome.
RESULTS: Clinical outcome at 6 weeks was similar for unblinded and blinded patients. Self-efficacy, fear avoidance beliefs, and the SF-36 subscales were similar over time for blinded and unblinded patients, except for the general health subscale on the SF-36. General health of the blinded group improved more than for the unblinded group (P = .008).
CONCLUSIONS: Patient knowledge of imaging findings do not alter outcome and are associated with a lesser sense of well-being.
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Division of Radiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. lorrainemash@gmail.com
PMID