Objective: To assess the validity of the Back Disability Risk Questionnaire (BDRQ) to predict developing chronic back disability.
Methods: Five hundred nineteen working adults (67% male) seeking outpatient care for acute, work-related back pain (≤14 days) completed the BDRQ. After the initial medical evaluation, clinicians provided prognostic impressions in a 10-item questionnaire. Pain, functional limitation, and work status were assessed at 3-month follow-up.
Results: In multivariate analyses, the presence of persistent pain, functional limitation, or impaired work status (31.4%) was predicted by six BDRQ questions: injury type, work absence preceding medical evaluation, job tenure, prior back surgery, worries about re-injury, expectation for early return-to-work, and stress. Classification accuracy at 3 months was 76.3%. Initial clinician impressions showed no multivariate associations with outcomes.
Conclusions: The BDRQ may provide prognostic information not observed in a routine medical evaluation for acute BP.