Author(s): Hazard RG, Haugh LD, Green PA, Jones PL
STUDY DESIGN: Treatment outcomes for low back pain have been measured by varying standards of pain, impairment, and disability. This study examines the relationship between these three outcomes and treatment satisfaction in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).
METHODS: Ninety CLBP patients underwent initial pain (VAS), impairment (PIS), and disability (OPQ) evaluations.
RESULTS: Correlation coefficients between initial VAS, PIS, and OPQ were all less than 0.50. At 5-year follow-up, pain and disability scores were closely matched, more with lower mean scores among workers (P = 0.04 and 0.001). For 65 rehabilitation participants, 5-year patients satisfaction scores did not relate closely with VAS, PIS, and OPQ improvements during treatment (r = 0.15, 0.01, and 0.14). Five-year satisfaction correlated weekly with current pain and disability (r = 0.32, -0.36). Satisfaction levels were higher for workers after 1 year (P = 0.01), and after 5 years (P = 0.34.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that CLBP patients and their health care practitioners mutually set distinct pretreatment pain, impairment, and disability goals and judge outcomes accordingly.