Report of the NIH Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain

The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society (Impact Factor: 4.01). 04/2014; 95(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2014.03.005
Source: PubMed


Despite rapidly increasing intervention, functional disability due to chronic low back pain (cLBP) has increased in recent decades. We often cannot identify mechanisms to explain the major negative impact cLBP has on patients' lives. Such cLBP is often termed non-specific and may be due to multiple biologic and behavioral etiologies. Researchers use varied inclusion criteria, definitions, baseline assessments, and outcome measures, which impede comparisons and consensus. Therefore, NIH Pain Consortium charged a Research Task Force (RTF) to draft standards for research on cLBP. The resulting multidisciplinary panel recommended using 2 questions to define cLBP; classifying cLBP by its impact (defined by pain intensity, pain interference, and physical function); use of a minimum dataset to describe research participants (drawing heavily on the PROMIS methodology); reporting "responder analyses" in addition to mean outcome scores; and suggestions for future research and dissemination. The Pain Consortium has approved the recommendations, which investigators should incorporate into NIH grant proposals. The RTF believes that these recommendations will advance the field, help to resolve controversies, and facilitate future research addressing the genomic, neurologic, and other mechanistic substrates of chronic low back pain. We expect that the RTF recommendations will become a dynamic document and undergo continual improvement.
A task force was convened by the NIH Pain Consortium with the goal of developing research standards for chronic low back pain. The results included recommendations for definitions, a minimum dataset, reporting outcomes, and future research. Greater consistency in reporting should facilitate comparisons among studies and the development of phenotypes.

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    ABSTRACT: Study Design: Systematic review of the literature. Objective: To evaluate whether an integrated approach that includes different Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies combined or CAM therapies combined with conventional medical care is more effective for the management of low back pain (LBP) than single modalities alone. Summary of Background Data: LBP is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, yet its optimal management is still unresolved. Methods: The PRISMA Statement guidelines were followed. The Cochrane Back Review Group scale was used to rate the quality of the studies found. Results: Twenty-one studies were found that met the inclusion criteria. The CAM modalities used in the studies included spinal manipulative therapy, acupuncture, exercise therapy, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and a topical ointment. Twenty studies included acupuncture and/or spinal manipulative therapy. Nine high quality studies showed that integrative care was clinically effective for the management of LBP. Spinal manipulative therapy combined with exercise therapy and acupuncture combined with conventional medical care or with exercise therapy appears to be promising approaches to the management of chronic cases of LBP. Conclusions: There is support in the literature for integrated CAM and conventional medical therapy for the management of chronic LBP. Further research into the integrated management of LBP is clearly needed to provide better guidance for patients and clinicians.
    09/2014; Vol 3, Number 5. DOI:10.7453/gahmj.2014.043

  • The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 11/2014; 114(11):e119-20. DOI:10.7556/jaoa.2014.167
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    ABSTRACT: Background The 9-item STarT-Back screening tool was developed in primary care patients with low back pain (LBP) to identify those at greatest risk for chronic pain and requiring targeted treatment. We conducted a secondary data analysis study to examine the performance of comparable questionnaire items in a sample of primary care patients with well-defined acute LBP.Methods In a prospective cohort study, 605 primary care patients with LBP of less than 30 days answered a questionnaire with 6 items identical and 3 items analogous to the 9-item STarT-Back. Participants were followed up at 6 months and 2 years. STarT-Back rules were applied to classify participant's risk of chronic LBP, and the performance of the screening items in predicting outcomes was assessed using likelihood ratios.ResultsThe proportion of patients with chronic pain at follow-up was considerably lower (6 months: 22%; 2 years: 25%) than in the STarT-Back validation cohort (40%) of patients with pain of any duration. The probability of developing chronic pain given a high-risk designation by items similar to the STarT-Back increased the pre-test probability to 31% and 35%. Likelihood ratios were close to 1.ConclusionsA risk classification schema using the recommended cut-off scores with items similar to the STarT-Back in a primary care population with strictly defined acute LBP had limited ability to identify persons who progressed to chronic pain. The results suggest caution when applying the STarT-Back in patients with acute LBP and a need to consider a modification of its cut-offs.
    European journal of pain (London, England) 12/2014; 19(3). DOI:10.1002/ejp.615 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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