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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318192bcf8
Original Articles

The Back Disability Risk Questionnaire for Work-Related, Acute Back Pain: Prediction of Unresolved Problems at 3-Month Follow-Up

Shaw, William S. PhD; Pransky, Glenn MD, MOccH; Winters, Thomas MD, MPH

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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.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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