Author(s): Vora RN, Barron BA, Almudevar A, Utell MJ
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate return-to-work outcomes in patients with chronic, work-related low back pain referred to pain treatment centers and/or spine clinics (PTCs/SCs). SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Return-to-work outcomes in cases of work-related chronic low back pain after referral to PTCs and/or SCs have not been previously studied. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 230 consecutive patients was conducted from an occupational medicine program. Of these, 122 patients were referred to a PTC/SC and 108 patients were not. Multivariate logistic regression was used to develop a model to predict improvement in functional status and pain level after 1 year. RESULTS: At the 1-year evaluation, there was functional improvement in the nonreferral group (P < 0.001) and no change in the referral group (P = 0.21). The change in pain level was similar. Time from injury to initial evaluation seemed to be the major factor contributing to poor outcomes in both groups. CONCLUSION: Referral to a PTC/SC did not yield improved functional outcomes in this cohort. A major factor contributing to this finding was the length of time to referral to PTC/SC after the initial injury.
This article was published in Spine (Phila Pa 1976)
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics