The STarT Back Screening Tool (STarT) is a nine-item patient self-report questionnaire that classifies low back pain patients into low, medium or high risk of poor prognosis. When assessed by GPs, these subgroups can be used to triage patients into different evidence-based treatment pathways. The objective of this study was to translate the English version of STarT into Danish (STarT-dk) and test its discriminative validity.
Translation was performed using methods recommended by best practice translation guidelines. Psychometric validation of the discriminative ability was performed using the Area Under the Curve statistic. The Area Under the Curve was calculated for seven of the nine items where reference standards were available and compared with the original English version.
The linguistic translation required minor semantic and layout alterations. The response options were changed from “agree/disagree” to “yes/no” for four items. No patients reported item ambiguity using the final version. The Area Under the Curve ranged from 0.735 to 0.855 (CI95% 0.678–0.897) in a Danish cohort (n = 311) and 0.840 to 0.925 (CI95% 0.772–0.948) in the original English cohort (n = 500). On four items, the Area Under the Curve was statistically similar between the two cohorts but lower on three psychosocial sub-score items.
The translation was linguistically accurate and the discriminative validity broadly similar, with some differences probably due to differences in severity between the cohorts and the Danish reference standard questionnaires not having been validated. Despite those differences, we believe the results show that the STarT-dk has sufficient patient acceptability and discriminative validity to be used in Denmark.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00586-011-1911-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
STarT Back Screening Tool; Linguistic; Cultural; Translation; Psychometric; Validation
Finding the best outcome measures for research and quality assurance purposes in terms of validity, sensitivity to change, length and ease of completion is crucial. The Bournemouth questionnaire for neck pain patients was recently translated and validated into German and found to be more sensitive to change than other commonly used questionnaires. However, the low back pain version is not yet available in German. Therefore the purpose of this study was to translate and validate the Bournemouth Questionnaire (BQ) for low back pain (LBP) into German.
The translation was done in 4 steps, translated and back-translated by two independent people and adapted and approved by an expert committee. Face validity was then done by 30 people who checked the questionnaire for comprehension. Test-retest reliability (reproducibility) was tested using 30 stable back pain patients. Internal consistency was tested using 108 low back patients. External construct validity, external longitudinal validity and responsiveness was tested against the German versions of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the SF-36 questionnaire using 108 patients from 5 different chiropractic clinics.
The BQ showed high test-retest reliability (ICC > 0.91) for all items and strong internal consistency (Cronbachs alpha = 0.86 at baseline and 0.94 at 4 weeks).
The BQ demonstrated good external construct and longitudinal construct validity with established measures. The effect sizes of the BQ were high and comparable with established measures.
External construct validity and external longitudinal construct validity showed significant correlation for all 7 scales of the BQ with the relevant scales of the other questionnaires with one exception. External responsiveness results showed higher effect sizes for the BQ items and total score indicating better sensitivity to change than the compared measures.
The BQ for LBP was successfully translated and adapted into German. It was successfully tested for validity, consistency, and responsiveness against the German versions of the ODI and the SF-36. It is shorter, covers more domains than the ODI and is more sensitive to change than the other questionnaires.
Bournemouth questionnaire; Outcome assessment; Low back pain; Chiropractic; Validity of results
Clinicians require brief, practical tools to help identify low back pain (LBP) subgroups requiring early, targeted secondary prevention. The STarT Back Tool (SBT) was recently validated to subgroup LBP patients into early treatment pathways.
To test the SBT’s concurrent validity against an existing, popular LBP subgrouping tool, the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire (ÖMPSQ), and to compare the clinical characteristics of subgroups identified by each tool.
Two hundred and forty-four consecutive ‘non-specific’ LBP consulters at 8 UK GP practices aged 18–59 years were invited to complete a questionnaire. Measures included the ÖMPSQ and SBT, disability, fear, catastrophising, pain intensity, episode duration and demographics. Instruments were compared using Spearman’s correlations, tests for subgroup agreement and discriminant analysis of subgroup characteristics according to reference standards.
Completed SBT (9-items) and ÖMPSQ (24-items) data was available for 130/244 patients (53%). The correlation of SBT and ÖMPSQ scores was ‘excellent (rs = 0.80). Subgroup characteristics were similar across the low, medium and high subgroups, but, the proportions allocated to ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ risk groups were different, with fewer patients in the SBT’s high risk group. Both instruments similarly discriminated for reference standards such as disability, catastrophising, fear, comorbid pain and time off work. The ÖMPSQ was better at discriminating pain intensity, while the SBT was better for discriminating bothersomeness of back pain and referred leg pain.
The SBT baseline psychometrics performed similarly to the ÖMPSQ, but the SBT is shorter and easier to score and is an appropriate alternative for identifying high risk LBP patients in primary care.
Low back pain; Classification; Primary care; Early identification; Psychological factors
The STarT back screening tool (SBT) allocates low back pain (LBP) patients into three risk groups and is intended to assist clinicians in their decisions about choice of treatment. The tool consists of domains from larger questionnaires that previously have been shown to be predictive of non-recovery from LBP. This study was performed to describe the distribution of depression, fear avoidance and catastrophising in relation to the SBT risk groups. A total of 475 primary care patients were included from 19 chiropractic clinics. They completed the SBT, the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire. Associations between the continuous scores of the psychological questionnaires and the SBT were tested by means of linear regression, and the diagnostic performance of the SBT in relation to the other questionnaires was described in terms of sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratios.
In this cohort 59% were in the SBT low risk, 29% in the medium risk and 11% in high risk group. The SBT risk groups were positively associated with all of the psychological questionnaires. The SBT high risk group had positive likelihood ratios for having a risk profile on the psychological scales ranging from 3.8 (95% CI 2.3 - 6.3) for the MDI to 7.6 (95% CI 4.9 - 11.7) for the FABQ. The SBT questionnaire was feasible to use in chiropractic practice and risk groups were related to the presence of well-established psychological prognostic factors. If the tool proves to predict prognosis in future studies, it would be a relevant alternative in clinical practice to other more comprehensive questionnaires.
To develop a Brazilian version of the gesture behavior test (GBT) for patients with chronic low back pain.
Translation of GBT into Portuguese was performed by a rheumatologist fluent in the language of origin (French) and skilled in the validation of questionnaires. This translated version was back-translated into French by a native-speaking teacher of the language. The two translators then created a final consensual version in Portuguese. Cultural adaptation was carried out by two rheumatologists, one educated patient and the native-speaking French teacher. Thirty patients with chronic low back pain and fifteen healthcare professionals involved in the education of patients with low back pain through back schools (gold-standard) were evaluated. Reproducibility was initially tested by two observers (inter-observer); the procedures were also videotaped for later evaluation by one of the observers (intra-observer). For construct validation, we compared patients’ scores against the scores of the healthcare professionals.
Modifications were made to the GBT for cultural reasons. The Spearman’s correlation coefficient and the intra-class coefficient, which was employed to measure reproducibility, ranged between 0.87 and 0.99 and 0.94 to 0.99, respectively (p < 0.01). With regard to validation, the Mann-Whitney test revealed a significant difference (p < 0.01) between the averages for healthcare professionals (26.60; SD 2.79) and patients (16.30; SD 6.39). There was a positive correlation between the GBT score and the score on the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (r= 0.47).
The Brazilian version of the GBT proved to be a reproducible and valid instrument. In addition, according to the questionnaire results, more disabled patients exhibited more protective gesture behavior related to low-back.
Low back pain; Behavior; Patient education; Back school; Validation studies
Physical occupational exposure is a risk factor for low back pain in workers but the long term effects of exposure remain unclear. As several countries consider increasing the retirement age, further information on this topic is relevant. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of low back pain among middle aged and aging individuals in the general French population according to physical occupational exposure and retirement status.
The study population originated from the French national survey 'Enquête décennale santé 2002'. Low back pain for more than 30 days within the previous twelve months (LBP) was assessed using a French version of the Nordic questionnaire. Occupational exposure was self assessed. Subjects were classified as "exposed" if they were currently or had previously been exposed to handling of heavy loads and/or to tiring postures. The weighted prevalence of LBP was computed separately for men and women, for active (aged 45-59) and retiree (aged 55-74), according to 5-year age group and past/present occupational exposure.
For active men, the prevalence of LBP was significantly higher in those currently or previously exposed (n = 1051) compared with those never exposed (n = 1183), respectively over 20% versus less than 11%. Among retired men, the prevalence of LBP tended towards equivalence with increasing age among those previously exposed (n = 748) and those unexposed (n = 599).
Patterns were quite similar for women with a higher prevalence in exposed active women (n = 741) compared to unexposed (n = 1260): around 25% versus 15%. Similarly, differences between previously exposed (n = 430) and unexposed (n = 489) retired women tended to reduce with age.
The prevalence of LBP in active workers was associated with occupational exposure. The link with past exposure among retirees decreased with age. These results should be considered for policies dealing with prevention at the workplace and retirement.
Acupuncture is a promising treatment approach in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP) but little is known about the quality of acupuncture in randomized controlled trials (RCT) of acupuncture cLBP.
To determine how international experts (IES) rate the quality of acupuncture in RCTs of cLBP; independent international validation of the Low Back Pain Acupuncture Score (LBPAS).
Fifteen experts from 9 different countries outside China were surveyed (IES). They were asked to read anonymized excerpts of 24 RCTs of cLBP and answer a three-item questionnaire on how the method of acupuncture conformed to 1) Chinese textbook standards, 2) the expert's personally preferred style, and 3) how acupuncture is performed in the expert's country. Likert scale rating, calculation of the mode for each answer, and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient between all three answers and the LBPAS were calculated.
On comparison with Chinese textbook standards (question 1), 6 RCTs received a good rating, 8 trials a fair and 10 trials a poor or very poor rating. 5 of the 6 trials rated good, received at least a good rating also in question 2 or 3. We found a high correlation of 0.85 (p < 0.0001) between the IES and LBPAS ratings for question 1 and question 2, and a correlation of 0.66 (p < 0.0001) for question 3.
The international expert survey (IES) revealed that only 6 out of 24 (25%) RCTs of acupuncture for cLBP were rated "good" in respect to Chinese textbook acupuncture standards. There were only small differences in how the acupuncture quality was rated in comparison to Chinese textbook acupuncture, personally preferred and local styles of acupuncture. The rating showed a high correlation with the Low Back Pain Acupuncture Score LBPAS.
We evaluated the reliability and validity of an adapted Korean version of the Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ). Translation/retranslation of the English version of RMDQ was conducted, and all steps of the cross-cultural adaptation process were performed. The Korean version of the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) measure of pain, RMDQ, and the previously validated Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were mailed to 100 consecutive patients with chronic lower back pain (LBP) of at least 3 months. Eighty-one patients responded to the first mailing of questionnaires and 63 of the first-time responder returned their second survey. The average age of the 63 patients (45 female, 18 male) was 47.8 years. Reliability assessment was determined by estimating kappa statistics of agreement for each item, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and Cronbach’s α. Concurrent validity was evaluated by comparing the responses of RMDQ with the results of VAS and responses of ODI by using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The constructed Bland–Altman plot showed a good reliability. All items had a kappa statistics of agreement greater than 0.6. The RMDQ showed excellent test/re-test reliability as evidenced by the high ICC for 2 test occasions (ICC = 0.932, P < 0.001). Internal consistency was found to be very good at both assessments with Cronbach’s α (0.942 and 0.951 at first and second assessments, respectively). The RMDQ was correlated with the VAS (r = 0.692; P = 0.000 and r = 0.668; P = 0.000 at first and second assessments, respectively), and with the ODI (r = 0.789; P = 0.000 and r = 0.802; P = 0.000, respectively). The adapted Korean version of the RMDQ was successfully translated and showed acceptable measurement properties, and as such, is considered suitable for outcome assessments in the Korean speaking patients with LBP.
Low back pain; Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire; Korean version
Clinical outcome measures are important tools to monitor patient improvement during treatment as well as to document changes for research purposes. The short-form Bournemouth questionnaire for neck pain patients (BQN) was developed from the biopsychosocial model and measures pain, disability, cognitive and affective domains. It has been shown to be a valid and reliable outcome measure in English, French and Dutch and more sensitive to change compared to other questionnaires. The purpose of this study was to translate and validate a German version of the Bournemouth questionnaire for neck pain patients.
German translation and back translation into English of the BQN was done independently by four persons and overseen by an expert committee. Face validity of the German BQN was tested on 30 neck pain patients in a single chiropractic practice. Test-retest reliability was evaluated on 31 medical students and chiropractors before and after a lecture. The German BQN was then assessed on 102 first time neck pain patients at two chiropractic practices for internal consistency, external construct validity, external longitudinal construct validity and sensitivity to change compared to the German versions of the Neck Disability Index (NDI) and the Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPAD).
Face validity testing lead to minor changes to the German BQN. The Intraclass Correlation Coefficient for the test-retest reliability was 0.99. The internal consistency was strong for all 7 items of the BQN with Cronbach α's of .79 and .80 for the pre and post-treatment total scores. External construct validity and external longitudinal construct validity using Pearson's correlation coefficient showed statistically significant correlations for all 7 scales of the BQN with the other questionnaires. The German BQN showed greater responsiveness compared to the other questionnaires for all scales.
The German BQN is a valid and reliable outcome measure that has been successfully translated and culturally adapted. It is shorter, easier to use, and more responsive to change than the NDI and NPAD.
Bournemouth Questionnaire; Outcome Assessment; Neck Pain; Chiropractic; Validity of Results
The purpose of the present study was to translate and perform a
cross-cultural adaptation of Manchester Orofacial Pain Disability Scale to
the Portuguese language.
Material and Methods
A synthesis of two independent translations done by bilingual translators
whose mother tongue was the Portuguese language began the process of
translation. From the synthesis of the translated version and totally blind
to the original version, two different non-native English language teachers
without dental knowledge translated the questionnaire back to English. The
pre-final version was done by an Expert committee: the researchers, two
other non-native English language teachers and one native English language
speaker. The new questionnaire was then piloted among 8 patients from the
target setting that were interviewed to probe it on their perceived meaning
of each question. The Manchester Orofacial Pain Disability Scale (MOPDS)
thus translated was called Brasil-MOPDS and was validated in 50 patients
with Orofacial pain from TMJ and Occlusion clinic ambulatory of São
Paulo University School of Dentistry. The Brasil-MOPDS was administered
twice by an interviewer (15 - 20 day interval) and once by a second
independent interviewer. The Brazilian version of the short form oral health
impact profile (OHIP-14) questionnaire and the visual analogue pain scale
(VAS) were applied on the same day.
Internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.9), inter-observer (ICC = 0.92)
and intra-observer (ICC = 0.98) correlations presented high scores. Validity
of Brasil-MOPDS compared to OHIP-14 (r = 0.85) and VAS (r = 0.75) shown high
Brasil-MOPDS was successfully translated and adapted to be applied to
Brazilian patients, with satisfactory internal and external reliability.
orofacial pain; oral health; quality of life; visual analogue pain scale.
Studies describing risk indicators of low back pain (LBP) have focused on adults, although the roots of LBP lie in adolescence and early adulthood. The objective of the present study was to assess the lifetime occurrence and risk indicators of LBP in young adult males. The survey sample comprised 7,333 male conscripts (median age 19), of which 7,040 (96%) answered a questionnaire during the first days of their conscription. The outcome was lifetime LBP prompting at least one visit to a physician. Associations between 18 background variables and LBP were analysed by logistic regression. Altogether 894 (12.7%) respondents reported LBP. Health status was a strong determinant of LBP. The strongest individual risk indicators for LBP were having two or more other than back-related diseases diagnosed by a physician during past year (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.6–2.5), below-average self-perceived health (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.3–2.0) and use of smokeless tobacco (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.2–1.7). Socioeconomic status was not associated with LBP and health behaviours only weakly. The strongest risk indicators for LBP were related to health problems. Of the socioeconomic background factors, none were associated with LBP. It is evident that LBP is associated with other health problems as well, indicating that its background may be multifactorial. This presents challenges for prevention programme planning and implementation. Longitudinal cohort studies are urgently needed to enhance understanding of adolescent risk indicators of LBP.
Low back pain; Health behaviour; Risk indicators; Epidemiology
Self questionnaires are an important aspect of the management of neck pain patients. The Bournemouth Questionnaire (BQ), based on the biopsychosocial model, is designed to evaluate patients with neck pain. The validated English version of this questionnaire (BQc-English) has psychometric properties that range from moderate to excellent. The goal of this study is to translate and validate a French version of the Bournemouth Questionnaire for neck pain patients (BQc-f). Its translation and adaptation are performed using the translation back-translation method, generating a consensus among the translators. This validation study was performed on 68 subjects (mean age 41 years old) who participated in a randomized controlled trial regarding the efficiency of manual therapy for neck pain patients. This experimental protocol was designed to generate data in order to evaluate the construct validity, longitudinal validity, test-retest reliability and responsiveness. The BQc-f psychometric properties of construct validity (r = 0.67, 0.61, 0.42) for pre treatment, post treatment and longitudinal validity, respectively), test-retest reliability (r = 0.97) and responsiveness (effect size = 0.56 and mean standardized response = 0.61) are sufficient to suggest it could be used in the management of patients with neck pain.
Bournemouth questionnaire; French version; validation; neck pain
Low back pain (LBP) is common and costly and few treatments have been shown to be markedly superior to any other. Effort has been focused on stratifying patients to better target treatment. Recently the STarT Back Screening Tool (SBT) has been developed for use in primary care to enable sub grouping of patients based on modifiable baseline characteristics and has been shown to be associated with differential outcomes. In the UK the SBT is being recommended to assist in care decisions for those presenting to general practitioners with LBP. In the light of growing recommendation for widespread use of this tool, generalisability to other LBP populations is important. However, studies to date have focused only on patients attending physiotherapy whereas LBP patients seeking other treatment have not been investigated.
This study aims to investigate the utility of the SBT to predict outcomes in LBP patients presenting for chiropractic management.
A total of 404 patients undergoing chiropractic care were asked to complete the SBT before initial treatment. Clinical outcomes were collected at 14, 30 and 90 days following this initial consultation. The clinical course was described comparing SBT categories and logistic regression analysis performed to examine the tool’s prognostic utility.
Although the high-risk categories had greater pain at baseline this difference rapidly faded, with both change in composite outcome scores and pain scores being statistically insignificant between the risk groups at 30 and 90 days follow up. In addition, both univariate and adjusted analysis showed no prognostic utility of the SBT categorisations to differentiate clinical outcomes between risk groups.
Whilst the SBT appears useful in some back pain populations it does not appear to differentiate outcomes in LBP patients seeking chiropractic care.
Start back tool; Low back pain; Prognosis; Spinal manipulative therapy
The overall objective was to evaluate the predictive validity of a subgroup classification based on the Swedish version of the MPI, the MPI-S, among gainfully employed workers with neck pain (NP) and/or low back pain (LBP) during a follow-up period of 18 and 36 months.
This is a prospective cohort study that is part of a larger longitudinal multi-centre study entitled Work and Health in the Process and Engineering Industries (AHA). The attempt was to classify individuals at risk for developing chronic disabling NP and LBP. This is the first study using the MPI-questionnaire in a working population with NP and LBP.
Dysfunctional individuals (DYS) demonstrated more statistically significant sickness absence compared to adaptive copers (AC) after 36 months. DYS also had a threefold increase in the risk ratio of long-term sickness absence at 18 months. Interpersonally distressed (ID) subgroup showed overall more sickness absence compared to the AC subgroup at the 36-month follow-up and had a twofold increase in the risk ratio of long-term sickness absence at 18 months. There was a significant difference in bodily pain, mental and physical health for ID and DYS subgroups compared to the AC group at both follow-ups.
The present study shows that this multidimensional approach to the classification of individuals based on psychological and psychosocial characteristics can distinguish different groups in gainfully employed working population with NP/LBP. The results in this study confirm the predictive validity of the MPI-S subgroup classification system.
The purpose of this study was to perform a cross-cultural adaptation of the Disability of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire to Spanish for Puerto Rico. Five steps were followed for the cross-cultural adaptation: forward translations into Spanish for Puerto Rico, synthesis of the translations, back translations into English, revision by an expert committee, and field test of the prefinal version. Psychometric characteristics of reliability and construct validity were evaluated for the final version. Internal consistency of the final version was high (Cronbach's α = 0.97) and item-to-total correlations were moderate (range from 0.44 to 0.85). Construct validity was evaluated by correlating the DASH with the scales of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Breast. Fair to moderate correlations found in this study between the DASH and most scales of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Breast support the construct validity of the Puerto Rico-Spanish DASH. The final version of the questionnaire was revised and approved by the Institute for Work and Health of Canada. Revisions to the original DASH English version are recommended. This version of the DASH is valid and reliable, and it can be used to evaluate outcomes in both clinical and research settings.
cross-cultural adaptation; Disability of Arm; Shoulder; and Hand questionnaire; Puerto Rico; upper extremity evaluation
Providing information to patients regarding appropriate management of LBP is a crucial component of primary care and treatment of low back pain (LBP). Limited knowledge is available, however, about the information delivered by physicians to patients with low back pain. Hence, this study aimed at evaluating (1) the self-reported practices of French physicians concerning information about patients with acute LBP (2) the consistency of these practices with the COST B13 guidelines, and (3) the effects of the delivery of a leaflet summarizing the COST B13 recommendations on the management of patient information, using the following study design: 528 French physicians [319 general practitioners (GP) and 209 rheumatologists (RH)] were asked to provide demographic information, responses to a Fear Avoidance Beliefs questionnaire adapted for physicians and responses to a questionnaire investigating the consistency of their practice with the COST B13 guidelines. Half of the participants (163 GP and 105 RH) were randomized to receive a summary of the COST B13 guidelines concerning information delivery to patient with low back pain and half (156 GP and 104 RH) were not given this information. The mean age of physicians was 52.1 ± 7.6 years, 25.2% were females, 75% work in private practice, 63.1% reported to treat 10–50 patients with LBP per month and 18.2% <10 per month. The majority of the physicians (71.0%) reported personal LBP episode (7.1% with a duration superior to 3 months). Among the 18.4% (97) of the physicians that knew the COST B13 guidelines, 85.6% (83/97) reported that they totally or partially applied these recommendations in their practice. The average work (0–24) and physical activity (0–24) FABQ scores were 21.2 ± 8.4 and 10.1 ± 6.0, respectively. The consistency scores (11 questions scored 0 to 6, total score was standardized from 0 to 100) were significantly higher in the RH group (75.6 ± 11.6) than in GP group (67.2 ± 12.6; p < 0.001). The delivery of a summary of the COST B13 guidelines significantly improved the consistency score (p = 0.018). However, a multivariate analysis indicated that only GP consistency was improved by recommendations’ delivery.The results indicated that GP were less consistent with the European COST B13 guidelines on the information of patients with acute LBP than RH. Interestingly, delivery of a summary of these guidelines to GP improved their consistency score, but not that of the RH. This suggests that GP information campaign can modify the message that they deliver to LBP, and subsequently could change patient’s beliefs on LBP.
Low back pain; Information; Guidelines; Beliefs
Some studies have demonstrated that physiotherapists have a high prevalence of low back pain (LBP). The association between physiotherapy students, who are potentially exposed to the same LBP occupational risks as graduates, and LBP has never been demonstrated. The objective of the study is to evaluate the association between undergraduate physiotherapy study and LBP. The study design includes a cross-sectional study. A questionnaire-based study was carried out with physiotherapy and medical students. LBP was measured as lifetime, 1-year and point prevalence. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to find the factors associated with LBP. Bivariate analyses were also performed to assess differences between LBP characteristics in the two courses. 77.9% of the students had LBP at some point in their lives, 66.8% in the last year and 14.4% of them reported they were suffering from LBP at the moment of answering the questionnaire. Physiotherapy students reported a higher prevalence of LBP when compared with the medical students in all measures. In the logistic regression model, physiotherapy students (A-OR 2.51; 95% CI 1.35–4.67; p = 0.003), and being exposed to the undergraduate study for more than four semesters (A-OR 2.55; 95% CI 1.43–4.55; p = 0.001) were independently associated with LBP. There were no differences between the courses concerning pain intensity and disability. As it was a cross-sectional study, we were not able to observe accurately if there is an increasing incidence of LBP during the course. Also, we did not intend to identify which activities in the course were associated with the development of LBP. This study clearly demonstrated an association between undergraduate physiotherapy study and LBP. The length of course exposure is also associated with LBP.
Low back pain; Occupational diseases; Risk factor; Physiotherapy; Students
Following reports of high prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in young physiotherapists [17-22], we investigated whether LBP was a problem for undergraduate physiotherapy students.
Physiotherapy students enrolled in one Australian tertiary institution completed a validated self-administered questionnaire in April 2001, seeking information on LBP prevalence (lifetime, 12 month, one-month, one-week), and its risk factors. The survey incorporated the Nordic back questionnaire, questions on common risks for LBP, and purpose-built questions regarding educational exposures. Univariate logistic regression models were applied to test associations.
Results and Discussion
72% students responded. LBP prevalence was 69% (lifetime), 63% (12-month), 44% (one-month), 28% (one-week). The risk of LBP increased significantly for students once they completed first year. Being aged 20 or 21 years (final year students) was significantly associated with all measures of LBP, compared with the youngest students. Exposure to tertiary study of greater than two years was associated with lifetime, 12 month and one-month LBP prevalence. Spending more than 20 hours in the past month 'sitting looking down' was significantly associated with one-month LBP prevalence. Similar exposure to 'treating patients' was significantly associated with one-month and one-week LBP prevalence.
Physiotherapy students should be alerted to the likelihood of LBP and is potential causes during their training, so that they enter the workforce with reduced risk of LBP. The potential for other undergraduate students to suffer LBP should also be considered.
Low back pain; physiotherapy students; risk factors
Accurate assessment of physical activity is important in determining the risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity. The absence of culturally relevant measures in indigenous languages could pose challenges to epidemiological studies on physical activity in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to translate and cross-culturally adapt the Short International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) to the Hausa language, and to evaluate the validity and reliability of the Hausa version of IPAQ-SF in Nigeria.
The English IPAQ-SF was translated into the Hausa language, synthesized, back translated, and subsequently subjected to expert committee review and pre-testing. The final product (Hausa IPAQ-SF) was tested in a cross-sectional study for concurrent (correlation with the English version) and construct validity, and test-retest reliability in a sample of 102 apparently healthy adults.
The Hausa IPAQ-SF has good concurrent validity with Spearman correlation coefficients (ρ) ranging from 0.78 for vigorous activity (Min Week-1) to 0.92 for total physical activity (Metabolic Equivalent of Task [MET]-Min Week-1), but poor construct validity, with cardiorespiratory fitness (ρ = 0.21, p = 0.01) and body mass index (ρ = 0.22, p = 0.04) significantly correlated with only moderate activity and sitting time (Min Week-1), respectively. Reliability was good for vigorous (ICC = 0.73, 95% C.I = 0.55-0.84) and total physical activity (ICC = 0.61, 95% C.I = 0.47-0.72), but fair for moderate activity (ICC = 0.33, 95% C.I = 0.12-0.51), and few meaningful differences were found in the gender and socioeconomic status specific analyses.
The Hausa IPAQ-SF has acceptable concurrent validity and test-retest reliability for vigorous-intensity activity, walking, sitting and total physical activity, but demonstrated only fair construct validity for moderate and sitting activities. The Hausa IPAQ-SF can be used for physical activity measurements in Nigeria, but further construct validity testing with objective measures such as an accelerometer is needed.
Health care workers have a high prevalence of low back pain (LBP). Although physical exposures in the working environment are linked to an increased risk of LBP, it has been suggested that individual coping strategies, for example fear-avoidance beliefs, could also be important in the development and maintenance of LBP. Accordingly, the main objective of this study was to examine (1) the association between physical work load and LBP, (2) the predictive effect of fear-avoidance beliefs on the development of LBP, and (3) the moderating effect of fear-avoidance beliefs on the association between physical work load and LBP among cases with and without previous LBP.
A questionnaire survey among 5696 newly qualified health care workers who completed a baseline questionnaire shortly before completing their education and a follow-up questionnaire 12 months later. Participants were selected on the following criteria: (a) being female, (b) working in the health care sector (n = 2677). Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of physical work load and fear-avoidance beliefs on the severity of LBP.
For those with previous LBP, physical work load has an importance, but not among those without previous LBP. In relation to fear-avoidance beliefs, there is a positive relation between it and LBP of than 30 days in both groups, i.e. those without and with previous LBP. No moderating effect of fear-avoidance beliefs on the association between physical work load and LBP was found among cases with and without LBP.
Both physical work load and fear-avoidance beliefs matters in those with previous LBP. Only fear-avoidance beliefs matters in those without previous LBP. The study did not find a moderating effect of fear-avoidance beliefs on the association between physical work load and LBP.
To analyze the role that biomechanical strains and psychosocial work factors play in occupational class disparities in low back pain (LBP) in the GAZEL cohort.
The GAZEL cohort members were recruited in 1989 among the employees of the French national company in charge of energy, who volunteered to enrol in an annual follow-up survey. The study population comprised 1487 men who completed: - a questionnaire in 1996 on past occupational exposure to manual material handling, to bending/twisting and to driving; - another questionnaire in 1997 on psychosocial work factors; - and, in 2001, a French version of the Nordic questionnaire for LBP assessment. Associations between LBP for more than 30 days in the preceding twelve months and social position at baseline (four categories) were described with a Cox model to determine prevalence ratios (PR) for each category. Adjusted and unadjusted ratios were compared to quantify the contribution of occupational exposures.
The prevalence of LBP for more than 30 days was 13.6%. Prevalence of LBP adjusted for age was significantly higher for blue collar workers and clerks than for managers. Taking into account biomechanical strains significantly reduced the socioeconomic disparities observed, while adjusting for psychosocial factors did not.
In this population, occupational exposures, especially biomechanical strains, play an important role in occupational class disparities for persistent or recurrent LBP.
Adult; Biomechanics; Cohort Studies; Female; France; epidemiology; Humans; Low Back Pain; epidemiology; physiopathology; psychology; Male; Middle Aged; Occupational Diseases; epidemiology; physiopathology; psychology; Recurrence; Social Class; health inequalities; social inequalities; occupational exposure; musculoskeletal disorder
The Core Outcome Measures Index (COMI) is a short multidimensional scale covering all domains recommended to be included as outcome measures for patients with low back pain (LBP). The purpose of the present study was to translate and cross-culturally adapt the COMI into Norwegian and to test clinimetric properties of the Norwegian COMI version in patients with non-specific LBP recruited from various clinical settings.
Ninety patients with non-specific LBP from primary care and hospital settings participated in the validation part and 61 also in the reproducibility part of the study (1 week apart). Acceptability, data quality, reproducibility and construct validity were investigated.
The questionnaire was well accepted and with little missing data and end effects. Reliability in terms of intraclass correlations (ICC) was satisfactory for the COMI index [0.89 (95 % CI 0.82–0.94)] and most single-core items. Agreement was acceptable for the COMI index [standard error of measurement (SEMagreement) 0.80, minimal detectable change (MDCindividual) 2.21], but exceeded the minimal standard of acceptability in some of the individual core items. Construct validity was acceptable for the COMI index.
The Norwegian version of the COMI index shows acceptable clinimetric properties in our patient population, but some of the sub-items had shortcomings. Our study, however, support the usefulness of the COMI index as an applicable stand-alone global scale when a light respondent burden is advisable.
Multidimensional scale; COMI; Clinimetric properties; Low back pain
OBJECTIVE—To examine risk factors for onset of low back pain (LBP) in healthcare workers.
METHODS—Nursing students, during their 3 year training period, and 1 year after training were studied in a prospective cohort study, with repeated self reported measurements of determinants of LBP at 6 monthly intervals for 3 years during training, and after a 12 month interval there was an additional final follow up.
RESULTS—During training, increased risk of new episodes of LBP was associated with having had LBP at baseline, with part time work, and with a high score on the general health questionnaire (GHQ). A high GHQ score preceded the onset of LBP, in such a way that a high score at the immediately previous follow up increased risk of LBP at the next follow up. 12 Months after training, a history of recurring LBP during training increased the risk of a new episode as did having obtained work as a nurse. A high GHQ score at this follow up was also associated with a concurrently increased risk. Pre-existing GHQ score, either at the end of training or at baseline, had no effect on risk of LBP 12 months after training.
CONCLUSIONS—Other than a history of LBP, pre-existing psychological distress was the only factor found to have a pre-existing influence on new episodes of LBP. Increased levels of psychological distress (as measured by the GHQ) preceded the occurrence of new episodes of pain by only short intervening periods, implying a role for acute distress in the onset of the disorder. This finding suggests that management of the onset of occupational LBP may be improved by management of psychological distress.
Keywords: low back pain; nurses; psychological factors
Few prospective cohort studies of workplace low back pain (LBP) with quantified job physical exposure have been performed. There are few prospective epidemiological studies for LBP occupational risk factors and reported data generally have few adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
A multi-center prospective cohort study has been incepted to quantify risk factors for LBP and potentially develop improved methods for designing and analyzing jobs. Due to the subjectivity of LBP, six measures of LBP are captured: 1) any LBP, 2) LBP ≥ 5/10 pain rating, 3) LBP with medication use, 4) LBP with healthcare provider visits, 5) LBP necessitating modified work duties and 6) LBP with lost work time. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 30 different employment settings in 4 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop-administered questionnaires, structured interviews, and two standardized physical examinations to ascertain demographics, medical history, psychosocial factors, hobbies and physical activities, and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of low back pain. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. The lifetime cumulative incidence of low back pain will also include those with a past history of low back pain. Incident cases will exclude prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Data analysis of a prospective cohort study of low back pain is underway and has successfully enrolled over 800 workers to date.
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Low back pain; NIOSH lifting equation
Although insomnia is common in patients with low back pain (LBP), it is unknown whether commonly used self-report sleep measures are sufficiently accurate to screen for insomnia in the LBP population. This study investigated the discriminatory properties of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (Pittsburgh questionnaire), Insomnia Severity Index (Insomnia index), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (Epworth scale) and the sleep item of the Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire (Roland item) to detect insomnia in patients with LBP by comparing their accuracy to detect insomnia to a sleep diary. The study also aimed to determine the clinical optimal cut-off scores of the questionnaires to detect insomnia in the LBP population.
Seventy nine patients with LBP completed the four self-reported questionnaires and a sleep diary for 7 consecutive nights. The accuracy of the questionnaires was evaluated using Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves with the Area Under the Curve (AUC) used to examine each test’s accuracy to discriminate participants with insomnia from those without insomnia.
The Pittsburgh questionnaire and Insomnia index had moderate accuracy to detect insomnia (AUC = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.68 to 0.87 and AUC = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.86 respectively), whereas the Epworth scale and the Roland item were not found to be accurate discriminators (AUC = 0.53, 95% CI = 0. 41 to 0.64 and AUC = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.75 respectively). The cut-off score of > 6 for the Pittsburgh questionnaire and the cut-off point of > 14 for the Insomnia index provided optimal sensitivity and specificity for the detection of insomnia.
The Pittsburgh questionnaire and Insomnia index had similar ability to screen for insomnia in patients with low back pain.
Low back pain; Insomnia; Diagnosis; Questionnaire; Accuracy